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Jacinda Ardern says she resigned from burn-out – but is she running scared of an election mauling

Jacinda Ardern has insisted her decision to resign as New Zealand’s Prime Minister is because she ‘doesn’t have enough in the tank’ – but there is speculation as to whether she is actually running scared of an election mauling following a public outcry over her draconian Covid lockdowns.

Ms Ardern, 42, today choked back tears as she announced she will step down after just over five years in power – during which she introduced some of the harshest Covid restrictions in the world.

The National Party took the lead in the polls following unrelenting public anger over her draconian Covid lockdowns, which included one nationwide lockdown over a single infection, and vaccine mandates. 

Her policies sparked nationwide protests – one protest against vaccine mandates that began on Parliament’s grounds last year lasted for more than three weeks and ended with protesters hurling rocks at police and setting fires to tents and mattresses as they were forced to leave.

As a result of the public anger over Ms Ardern’s response to Covid – which included a border closure that lasted more than two years – and her domestic policies, she was facing tough reelection prospects. This has prompted speculation that the real reason she decided to quit was because she didn’t want to face a humiliating defeat in the elections.

But Ms Ardern insisted her decision to step down had nothing to do with a potentially catastrophic election result.

‘The Labour team are incredibly well placed to contest the next election. They are the most experienced team in the country and have shown they have the skills necessary to respond to whatever comes their way,’ she said.

Ms Ardern continued: ‘I am not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election but because I believe we can and will. But we need a fresh set of shoulders for the challenges of both this year and the next three.

Source of data and images: dailymail

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