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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will step down by Feb. 7

She said she had given her ‘absolute all’ during nearly six years in office but didn’t have the reserve to serve another term

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gestures as she gives her victory speech to Labour Party members at an event in Auckland, New Zealand, Oct. 17, 2020.Mark Baker (AP)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not seek re-election and plans to stand down no later than early February, she said in a televised statement on Thursday. A general election would be held on October 14, she added.

“While I won’t be contesting the election, I know the issues that impact New Zealanders most will remain the focus of the government through this year and into the election,” she said.

Ardern said she still believed New Zealand Labor would win the upcoming election.

She said she had given her “absolute all” during nearly six years in office but didn’t have the reserve to serve another term.

Ardern had faced a tough election campaign this year. Her liberal Labour Party won reelection two years ago in a landslide of historic proportions, but recent polls have put her party behind its conservative rivals.

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