2023-01-19 06:50:51

New Zealand's Ardern, an Icon to Many, to Step Down

Logo U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
By Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was praised around the world for her handling of the nations worst mass shooting and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, said Thursday she was leaving office.

Ardern was facing mounting political pressures at home and a level of vitriol from some that hadnt been experienced by previous New Zealand leaders. Still, her announcement came as a shock to people throughout the nation of 5 million people.

Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 would be her last day as prime minister.

I am entering now my sixth year in office, and for each of those years, I have given my absolute all, she said.

Ardern became an inspiration to women around the world after first winning the top job in 2017 at the relatively young age of 37. She seemed to herald a new generation of leadership she was on the verge of being a millennial, had spun some records as a part-time DJ, and wasnt married like most politicians.

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