Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation as Prime Minister of New Zealand, claiming she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead.
Ms Ardern sobbed as she described how six “difficult” years in the job had taken their toll.
She will resign as Labour Party leader on February 7th. In the coming days, a vote will be held to determine her replacement.
On October 14, New Zealand will hold a general election.
Ms Ardern, 42, said she had spent the summer considering her future.
“I had hoped that I would find what I needed to carry on over that period, but I haven’t, and I would be doing New Zealand a disservice to continue,” she told reporters.
Ms Ardern became the world’s youngest female prime minister when she was elected in 2017 at the age of 37.
A year later, she became the world’s second elected leader to give birth while in office.
She led New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, the Christchurch mosque shootings, and the White Island volcanic eruption.
“It’s one thing to lead your country through a period of peace; it’s quite another to lead them through a period of crisis,” she explained.
“These events… have been taxing due to their weight, sheer weight, and continuous nature. There has never been a time when it felt like we were just governing.”
Ms Ardern led the Labour Party to a landslide election victory in 2020, but her domestic popularity has recently dropped to new lows, according to polls.
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Ms Ardern, on the other hand, stated that she was resigning not because she believed Labour would lose the election, but because she believed it would.