New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wins second term


New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern

Worth Noting:

  • Jacinda Ardern, who has been hailed for her compassionate leadership, became the 40th prime minister of New Zealand in 2017 and has been the leader of the Labour Party since then. She was born in Hamilton and grew up in rural areas, before attending Waikato University where she studied communications in politics and public relations. Jacinda Ardern joined the Labour Party at the age of 18 and entered New Zealand’s parliament in 2008.She is one of the few Prime Ministers to have given birth while in office.
  • Jacinda Ardern, 40, won international plaudits for her response to the deadly shootings at two mosques in 2019, donning a headscarf as a mark of respect as she mourned with the Muslim community. This year, she’s demonstrated her steel in tackling the corona virus pandemic, enacting one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to crush community transmission.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party has won over 49 percent votes in the general elections. At 26.9 percent of the votes, the National Party is in second place.

Jacinda Ardern’s party has won a majority, the biggest victory for the Labour Party in over 50 years. This will also be the first time that a party will be governing alone since New Zealand moved to the MMP (mixed member proportional representation) electoral system in 1996. With nearly 50 percent of the vote, the party will get more than the 61 seats required for a parliamentary majority.

Jacinda Ardern, who has been hailed for her compassionate leadership, became the 40th prime minister of New Zealand in 2017 and has been the leader of the Labour Party since then. She was born in Hamilton and grew up in rural areas, before attending Waikato University where she studied communications in politics and public relations. Jacinda Ardern joined the Labour Party at the age of 18 and entered New Zealand’s parliament in 2008.She is one of the few Prime Ministers to have given birth while in office.

During her political career, Jacinda Ardern has been popular even outside New Zealand for holding progressive views about issues such as migration and for being vocal about the rights of children, women and the right of every New Zealander to find meaningful work.

Jacinda Ardern’s tenure as Prime Minister saw the Christchurch shootings in 2019 where over 49 were killed. She was lauded for her handling of the attack, which was followed by a prompt action to ban guns.

Her campaign for the 2020 elections was largely focused on her handling of the corona viruspandemic. The country announced the end of community transmission in May, at a time when most developed countries were still dealing with the virus’s first wave. Till now, the country, which has a population of about 5 million, has seen over 2000 cases of Covid -19 and roughly 25 deaths.

Jacinda Ardern has also been vocal about climate change. Last November, the parliament passed the Zero Carbon Act, which commits New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner. I absolutely believe and continue to stand by the statement that climate change is the biggest challenge of our time,Jacinda Ardern told the Parliament in November 2019.

Even so, her critics are unhappy with Jacinda Ardern for not fulfilling some of her election promises, including having policies that have made a meaningful impact on inequality and measures to reduce child poverty.

In an age of populism and confrontation, JacindaArdern’s message of empathy and kindness married with skillful crisis management won her Labour Party its biggest share of the vote in more than 70 years.

Jacinda Ardern, 40, won international plaudits for her response to the deadly shootings at two mosques in 2019, donning a headscarf as a mark of respect as she mourned with the Muslim community. This year, she’s demonstrated her steel in tackling the corona virus pandemic, enacting one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to crush community transmission.

She rode the resulting wave of adulation to secure the first outright majority in parliament since New Zealand introduced proportional representation in 1996. The scale of the victory may fuel her global appeal among those who already view her as a standard bearer for liberal values.

Jacinda Ardern is now in a position to lead New Zealand’s most left leaning government in decades but has yet to decide whether to include her ally the Green Party, which wants more action on issues such as poverty and climate change.

Ironically, her increased mandate may prompt her to rein in her left leaning instincts as she looks to hang on to the center right voters who have flocked to her banner.

Jacinda Ardern, 40, promised supporters she would build an economy that works for everyone, create jobs, train people, protect the environment and address climate challenges and social inequalities.

We are living in an increasingly polarized world, she said. A place where more and more have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that with this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are.

Labour had 49 percent of the votes, far ahead of National at 27 percent, the Electoral Commission said, with 95% of ballots counted.

National leaders were decimated in their strongholds by young Labour candidates who appealed to voters with progressive, democratic messages, and highlighted the party’s success in beating corona virus.

Despite the election’s tilt to the left, Jacinda Ardern is likely to continue to chart a centrist course, largely aiming to implement incremental change that she hopes will outlast a future change in government, because she owes her victory to centre right voters.

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