New Zealand voted to give Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a second term on Saturday. Prime Minister Ardern’s Liberal Labor Party won a historic mandate with 49% of the vote against 27% sacked by its main challenger, the National Conservative Party.
In fact, this is the first time since New Zealand implemented a proportional voting system 24 years ago that a single (Labor) party has won an absolute majority of seats in Parliament. Jacinda Ardern was elected to the top post in 2017 when her Labor party struck an alliance with two other parties.
This time around, the Labor Party will be able to form a government at ease on its own, a first for the party in 50 years. Its ally the Green Party won 7.5% of the voters while the libertarian ACT party managed to increase its share of the vote to 8% this time around. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his New Zealand party were rejected.
In the 2020 election, New Zealanders also voted on two key issues: legalizing marijuana and euthanasia. The results of the two referendums will be announced on October 30.
We want to be an antidote to uncertainty: Jacinda Ardern
Speaking to supporters in Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in her victory speech: “This has not been an ordinary election, and it is not an ordinary time. It has been full of uncertainty. and anxiety, and we wanted to be an antidote for that. “
The Associated Press quoted Ardern as saying, “We live in an increasingly polarized world, a place where more and more people have lost the ability to see the perspective of others. I think in this election New Zealanders have shown that this is not who we are. “
During the election campaign, Jacinda Ardern (40) was greeted by enthusiastic supporters across New Zealand in what is known as “Jacinda-mania”. She has won praise for her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Christchurch shooting and a volcanic eruption on White Island, among other key issues. His empathetic approach to issues and his relations with voters is cited as the reason for his party’s landslide election victory.
Only the second world leader to have given birth while in office, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has come under criticism during her first term for gaps in improving housing affordability and addressing against child poverty.
However, his handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has now isolated the island nation of five million people from the virus, was at the forefront of his voting platform.
Elections in New Zealand were originally scheduled for September but had to be postponed for a month due to the discovery of a virus cluster in Auckland last month.
Challenger congratulates Labor on ‘exceptional victory’
Prime Minister Ardern’s challenger Judith Collins of the National Party is a former lawyer. She was a minister when the National Party was in power. Collins (61) had promised New Zealanders massive tax cuts if they voted for power.
In a speech on Saturday in Auckland, Judith Collins congratulated Ardern and his Labor Party for an “exceptional result”.
(With contributions from Associated Press)
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