AUCKLAND-New Zealand’s former Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins will replace Jacinda Ardern as prime minister after receiving the only nomination from fellow MPs, the ruling Labour Party said Saturday.
The 44-year-old senior politician must be formally backed by Labour members of parliament on Sunday to take over as the country’s 41st prime minister, following Ardern’s shock resignation on Thursday.
The police and education minister will lead his party’s uphill battle to win general elections on October 14 as the party lags in opinion polls, criticised by opponents over rising prices, poverty and crime rates.
“The Labour Party caucus will meet at 1pm on Sunday to endorse the nomination and confirm Chris Hipkins as Party Leader,” said a statement by senior Labour Party member Duncan Webb.
As leader of the governing party, Hipkins will also become prime minister when Ardern steps down.
Ardern, a global figurehead for progressive politics, stunned New Zealand when announcing her abrupt exit from office, less than three years after securing a second term in a landslide election win.
The 42-year-old — who steered the country through natural disasters, the Covid pandemic, and its worst-ever terror attack — said she no longer had “enough in the tank”.
Ardern said her decision to step down was “tinged with sadness” but after having made the announcement she had “slept well for the first time in a long time”.
Political commentators have lined up to condemn the social media abuse that was increasingly directed at Ardern before her resignation.
Stream Free Latest Tv-shows and Movies Online
#Chris #Hipkins #chosen #Zealand