New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern left everyone shocked by announcing her resignation on Wednesday morning, 10 months before her term ends. Her resignation comes into effect on Sunday if the Labour Party can choose her replacement in a two-thirds vote on that day, or on February 7 if the process takes longer.
Adern was in tears as she broke the shocking news at a press conference. She admitted she doesn't have the "energy to continue" the role anymore although she tried to "find energy lately but failed." Planning to lead a new life she also told her fiancé Clarke Gayford 'Let's finally get married.'
Ardern choked back tears as she described the toll that six "difficult" years in the position had had on her. She said that she will resign as the head of the Labour Party and her resignation comes into effect on Feb 7. In the upcoming days, a poll will be held to decide who will take her place.
New Zealand will hold its general election on October 14.
The 42-year-old Ardern claimed that during the summer break, she had given her future some thought and finally realized that she had no more energy left to continue as the country's Prime Minister.
"I'm 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," she said.
"I had hoped that I would find what I needed to carry on over that period but, unfortunately, I haven't, and I would be doing a disservice to New Zealand to continue," she told reporters.
"I am human. Politicians are human. We give all we can for as long as we can - and then it's time. And for me, it's time. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice.
"I am leaving because with such a privileged job comes a big responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead - and also when you're not.
"I have given my absolute all to being prime minister but it has also taken a lot out of me. 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 that inevitably come along."
A New Life Ahead
Ardern made history by being the world's youngest woman to hold the position when she was elected as the prime minister of New Zealand in 2017 at the age of 37.
She gave birth to her second child a year later, making history as the second elected world leader to do so.
She guided New Zealand through the White Island volcano eruption, the Christchurch mosque massacres, and the Covid-19 outbreak and recession that followed.
During her press conference, she admitted: "I didn't expect to be prime minister."
She stated that her party's polling deficit to the opposition National Party had nothing to do with her decision to resign ahead of the approaching election. "We need a fresh set of shoulders for that challenge," she said.
The youngest female head of state in the history of the globe stated that she plans to be present when her 4-year-old daughter Neve starts school next year.
"To Clarke, let's finally get married," she told her husband, ABC News reported.
Ardern said she is yet to share her plans with her daughter because "four-year-olds are chatty, I couldn't take the risk."
"I had the support of my family to continue, in fact some particularly close to me wanted me to continue - but they supported my decision," she revealed.