New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that she will resign from her post next month.
“It’s time for me,” Ardern told members of her Labor Party, adding, “I don’t have enough energy for another four years.”
And Ardern, who headed a coalition government in 2017 before leading her party to a landslide victory in the elections held three years later, recent opinion polls showed a decline in her popularity and that of her party as well.
In her first public appearance since Parliament’s summer recess a month ago, Ardern revealed at an informal Labor Party annual conference that she had hoped during that break to find the energy to continue her leadership of the country “but I haven’t been able to.”
She pointed out that the next elections will be held on October 14, and she will retain her parliamentary position until then.
“I’m not resigning because I think we won’t be able to win the next election, but because I know we can and we will,” she said.
Ardern indicated that her resignation would take effect no later than February 7, adding that the Labor Party would elect a new leader on January 22.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said he would not run for the party’s leadership.
Ardern denied the existence of any secret behind her resignation, saying, “I am a human being. We give everything we can for as long as possible and then the time comes. And for me, the time has come.”
“I’m leaving because with such a privileged job, there’s a huge responsibility. A responsibility to know when you’re the right person to lead – and also when you’re not,” she said.