New Zealand’s Jacinda Arden wins second term

Image Source: AFP

Incumbent Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern won a second term as her progressive Labour Party won a landslide in the New Zealand general election.

With most of the votes counted, her party won a rare outright majority with the opposition centre-right National party conceding defeat.

“New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years,” Ms Ardern told her supporters after the victory. “We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander.”

The main opposition National Party leader Judith Collins conceded defeat and congratulated Ardern on her victory, promising to be a robust opposition.

The charismatic leader has been lauded for her response to the coronavirus pandemic – New Zealand became one of the very few nations in the world to control the outbreak effectively, reporting a mere 25 casualties. This is when most of her counterparts in the West nations and in Europe are struggling to contain it.

She has also been appreciated for her empathetic and decisive leadership as well as powerful crisis management, helping her nation to steer clear of troubled times.

For instance, her handling of the Christchurch mosque terrorist shooting in March 2019 and the deadly White Island volcanic eruption won her many accolades in her home country and across the world.

However, the challenges for Ardern are enormous – the economy of the nation is bleak and tourism has taken a hit with the borders closed for international travelers.

The election was due to be held in September but was postponed due to a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus. General elections in New Zealand are held once in three years.

Along with voting in the general election, New Zealanders were also asked to vote on two referendums: the legalization of cannabis and on euthanasia, also known as mercy killing.

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