New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday that she will resign in the coming weeks, saying she no longer has the energy to remain as leader.
Speaking at a news conference, Ardern said her office term would end in February and she expects to see a new labor prime minister depending on the process that could be earlier.
“The time has come for me to resign. I no longer have the required energy to lead the country for another four years,” she said in a meeting with the members of her labor party.
“Leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges.” Ardern said.
Ardern became the prime minister in a coalition government in 2017 and led her Labor Party to a comprehensive victory in an election three years later. She has been one of the most influential world leaders of her time, who gained immense popularity in managing critical challenges in New Zealand and advocating for vulnerable women throughout the world.
She won international acclaim for the handling of the 2019 Christchurch terror attack, which killed 51 people at two mosques. Following the terror incident, she swiftly introduced gun law reforms and wore a hijab to show respect for the Muslim community.
Under Ardern’s leadership, New Zealand was one of the few countries which handled the COVID-19 pandemic in the best possible manner and closed the entry of foreigners to the country for nearly two years. For many, she is a sour of aspiration, a role model, and a great leader, who did not only serve her country and people but also, left a great legacy behind.