New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she would be stepping down as leader on Feb. 7 and that the country will hold an election on Oct. 14, the Guardian reported.
Ardern said she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job during the party’s annual caucus meeting on Thursday NZ time.
“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said.
Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at the age of 37. Her response to New Zealand’s worst mass shooting in history — the 2019 terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques — gained international attention when she led Parliament in passing significant gun control measures.
During her announcement in the New Zealand city of Napier, Arden said she did not feel equipped to complete another term.
“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging,” Ardern said. “You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”
“I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused,” she continued. “And that you can be your own kind of leader – one who knows when it’s time to go.”
This is a developing story.
From Rolling Stone US