New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday she will stand down as leader before February 7, saying she doesn’t believe she has the energy to seek re-election in the October polls.
“Nearing the end of the year I thought I really need to give myself the summer to really consider whether or not I have what it takes to continue,” she said at a news conference. “Once I realized that I didn’t, I knew unfortunately there wasn’t much alternative other than to hand over now.”
She added that she expects a new prime minister to be sworn in on February 7, though “depending on the process that could be earlier. So that’s something that I’ll work through with the new leader.”
The general election will be held on October 14.
Ardern has been prime minister since 2017, and won re-election in 2020.
This is a breaking story, more to follow.