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New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern’s electoral triumph

This is unheard of in New Zealand. Since the introduction of proportional representation in legislative elections in 1996, no party has won an absolute majority. The Labor Party led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern nevertheless succeeded this Saturday in this electoral performance.

With 49% of the ballots, according to results which are not yet final, his party should obtain 64 seats out of 120. “Thank you to all these people who gave us their voice, who trusted us to continue to lead the relaunch of New Zealand, ”the head of government told the jubilant Labor activists. “After this result, we have a mandate to accelerate our response and the recovery, and we will start tomorrow,” she told reporters questioning her about her social and environmental reforms.

“Kudos to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whom I called, because these are, I believe, extraordinary results for the Labor Party,” said National Party leader Judith Collins, member of the opposition. His formation is credited with only 27% of the vote, a score that would give him only 35 seats in Parliament, its worst result since 2002.

Jacinda Ardern, who turned 40 this summer, dubbed the poll the “Covid elections”, focusing her campaign on her very solid record in the fight against the pandemic. New Zealand, with a population of five million, has recorded 25 deaths from the novel coronavirus and the government’s strategy has been hailed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“No matter what crisis I am going through, you will always have the assurance that I will give everything I have.”

The Prime Minister’s strength of character was particularly tested in March 2019 during the worst terrorist attack in New Zealand history. A white supremacist coldly slaughtered 51 worshipers in two mosques in Christchurch.

Jacinda Ardern was then impressed with her attitude, her compassion towards the victims, and her very strong political reaction, especially on the issue of gun control and on the need to push social networks to crack down on the spread. hate speech.

This tragedy was followed by a volcanic eruption which left 21 dead and dozens of people seriously burned in December and, this year, the pandemic. “No matter what crisis I am going through, you will always have the assurance that I will give everything I have […] even if it involves a huge sacrifice, ”she said.

On the domestic policy front, the Labor leader will have a freer hand, with her absolute majority strong. During her first term, she saw her social reforms in terms of access to housing or the reduction of child poverty hampered by blockades operated by one of her coalition partners, the populist movement New Zealand First (NZF).

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