New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she will step down from her post next month and would not be contesting this year's general elections.
Speaking to reporters in Napier, the 42-year-old leader said that February 7 would be her last day in the office.
"I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job. I am leaving because with such a privileged role, comes responsibility, the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not. I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple,” Ardern said fighting back her tears.
Ardern steered New Zealand through the coronavirus pandemic
The unexpected announcement from Ardern comes after five and a half years of tenure leading New Zealand through the coronavirus pandemic. As per various reports, the New Zealand Prime Minister faced a tough election campaign this year. Her liberal Labour Party won reelection two years ago in a landslide victory, but recent polls have put her party behind its conservative rivals.
Arden terms her tenure as most fulfilling years
Speaking to the media, Ardern further said there was no "special angle" or "real reason" why she wanted to resign, only that she was "human". "To Neve, mum is looking forward to being there when you start school next year. To Clarke, let's finally get married. This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life," she added.
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It should be mentioned here that Arden had become one of the youngest female state leaders in the world when she was elected to power at the age of 37 in 2017. She is also one of the few to give birth while in office. This year, the general election will take place on October 14 in the island nation.
(With inputs from agencies)