Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, has declared she will resign no later than early February and not run for office again.
It had been a difficult five and a half years as prime minister, Ardern said, adding that she needed to step down because she was only human.
Ardern, 42, told a news conference:
This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare for not just another year, but another term – because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that.
I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called ‘real’ reason was… The only interesting angle you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, that I am human. Politicians are human. We give all that we can, for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.
A ruling New Zealand Labour Party vote for a new leader will take place on Sunday; the party leader will be prime minister until the next general election. Ardern’s term as a leader will conclude no later than February 7 and a general election will be held on October 14.
Ardern said she believed Labour would win the upcoming election.
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, who also serves as finance minister, said in a statement he would not seek to stand as the next Labour leader.
With support for Labour declining and the nation anticipated to enter a recession in the upcoming quarter, Ardern’s replacement as party leader and prime minister faces a difficult test in a general election.
Ardern asserted that she was leaving the position not because it was difficult, but rather because she thought others could do it better.
In addition to telling her longtime partner Clarke Gayford that it was time for them to get married, she made a point of telling her daughter Neve that she was excited to be there when she started school this year.