‘Indian politics needs more like her’: Jairam Ramesh on Jacinda Ardern’s retirement announcement

Jacinda Ardern announced that she will not be seeking re-election after her term as the PM of New Zealand ends on February 7.

new zealand Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (Photo: Reuters)

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Thursday hailed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who announced that she will step down from her post, and said that “Indian politics needs more like her”.

“Legendary cricket commentator, Vijay Merchant once said about retiring at the peak of his career: Go when people ask why is he going instead of why isn’t he going. Kiwi PM, Jacinda Ardern has just said she is quitting following Merchant’s maxim,” Ramesh said in a tweet.

“Indian politics needs more like her,” added Ramesh.

Ardern announced on Thursday that she will not be seeking re-election after her term as the PM of New Zealand ends on February 7. Calling it the most “fulfilling five and a half years” of her life, Ardern said she had “no more in the tank” to continue leading the country.

The 42-year-old leader Ardern, holding back tears, said at a news conference in Napier, “This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare for not just another year, but another term – because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that.”

Ardern also posted the speech on her Facebook profile.

“I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called ‘real’ reason was… The only interesting angle you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, that I am human,” she continued.

“Politicians are human. We give all that we can, for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time,” Ardern said.

A ruling New Zealand Labour Party will vote for a new leader on Sunday, and the party leader will be the PM till the next general election which will be held on October 14.

Ardern’s empathetic handling of the nation’s worst mass-shooting and health-driven response to the COVID-19 pandemic led her to become an international icon. However, she has faced mounting criticism at home, over issues like inflation which rose to nearly three-decade highs, the central bank increasing the cash rate, and increasing crimes in the country, reported Reuters.

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First published on: 19-01-2023 at 11:28 IST
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