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Saturday, February 4, 2023

New Zealand: Farewell to Jacinda – New Prime Minister sworn in

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Jacinda Ardern left the New Zealand Parliament for the last time as Prime Minister. Many thanked the popular politician with tears. Then her successor took the oath of office.

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Former New Zealand Minister of Police and Education Chris Hipkins has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of New Zealand following the resignation of Jacinda Ardern. “This is the greatest privilege and opportunity of my life,” said the 44-year-old. “The Vice Prime Minister and I both take today’s appointment very seriously.”

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Hipkins’ deputy is Carmel Sepuloni. Born in 1977 to a Polynesian immigrant mother and a New Zealander of European descent, the politician is the first Pacific Islander to hold this senior government position.

Ardern (42) had previously left parliament for the last time as head of government and individually hugged all cabinet members who were waiting for her in front of the building. Many of her colleagues had tears in their eyes and thanked her for her achievements. Numerous citizens had also come to Parliament in Wellington to say goodbye to the popular politician. Because of her empathetic nature and her successful crisis management, Ardern was also admired internationally.

Ardern’s withdrawal came as a surprise

Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate, tweeted: “Thank you Jacinda Ardern for your friendship, guidance and support over the years, not least at the time of my grandmother’s death.” New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth. King Charles III, the Queen’s son, is the country’s new head of state.

Ardern, who has ruled since 2017, surprisingly announced her withdrawal on Thursday and said that she lacked the strength to continue. “I know what it takes for this job and I know I don’t have enough left in the tank,” she said in an emotional speech. When she took office, she was the youngest prime minister in the world at the time. In 2018, she became the first prime minister in decades to give birth while in office. In 2020 she was re-elected with a large majority. The next parliamentary elections in the Pacific country will take place on October 14th.

Source: Stern

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