July 21, 2024

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Leader, Says She Will Step Down

Ms. Ardern, a global liberal icon who has faced rising political headwinds at home, will leave office by Feb. 7, she said.

Jacinda Ardern, who became a global liberal icon as New Zealand’s prime minister but faced deepening political challenges with an election looming at home, said in a surprise announcement on Thursday that she would step down as the country’s leader

In a tearful speech in the New Zealand city of Napier, where Ms. Ardern’s Labour Party was hosting its summer caucus retreat, she said she did not feel personally prepared to complete another term. She will leave office by Feb. 7, she said.

“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging,” Ms. Ardern said. “You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”

She added: “This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. I am leaving because with such a privileged job comes a big responsibility.”

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