In the parliamentary elections in New Zealand, the incumbent Labor Party with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a historic victory. For the first time since the current electoral law was enacted in 1996, a party in the state of Pacific won the absolute majority.
40-year-old Ardern, who has been in office since 2017, can rule alone – this hasn’t happened in New Zealand for decades. Labor has 64 seats out of 120 after nearly all votes have been counted. The conservative National Party, with Judith Collins (61) as the top candidate, won only 35 seats. The party had ruled continuously from 2008 to 2017.
[Wenn Sie alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zur Coronavirus-Pandemie live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
In particular, observers attributed the result to Ardern’s internationally acclaimed crisis management in the corona pandemic and her handling of the right-wing extremist terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019.
Your new government will be there “for every New Zealander,” Ardern promised in an initial statement Saturday. The coming years were not going to be easy, Ardern said Saturday in view of the corona pandemic and its consequences. But her government wanted to spread hope and optimism, she said beaming in front of cheering supporters. “We will start working on it tomorrow!”
That was not a normal choice, said Ardern, who presented himself entirely in the festive color red. “And these are not normal times.” But she still strives for ‘positive’ governance. “It is a privilege to work for the people of New Zealand and be their leader of government.”
Mourning after Christchurch: Jacinda Ardern – with black headscarf – embraces a Muslim Photo: Boris Jancic / AAP / dpa
In parallel with the general election, New Zealanders were called to vote in two referendums on the legalization of assisted suicide for the terminally ill and the legalization of cannabis. These results will be published on October 30. Before the elections, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference took a stand against the legalization of assisted suicide by terminally ill people.
Ardern was praised beyond the borders of New Zealand for handling the victims of the attack by an Australian neo-Nazi in 2019. In their speech after the attack, it was the word ‘we’ that was etched in the minds of New Zealanders. “Many of those affected are immigrants, they could be refugees, they wanted to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. You’re us, ”said Ardern. When meeting with wounded and relatives, Ardern wore a black headscarf, which many New Zealanders then wore as a symbol of solidarity with the victims of the attack.
The New Zealand corona pandemic had successfully brought Ardern under control through a very strict lockdown. “Together we managed to get the virus under control,” said Ardern, who was internationally acclaimed for its crisis management when the corona measures were lifted in mid-September. After the lockdown ended in mid-May, no new infections had been recorded for more than 100 days. Then, in mid-August, some cases of infection occurred in Auckland.
Video 17-10-2020, 12:28 AM 12:59 PM: Ardern wins the elections in New Zealand by a huge margin
Since then, prevention measures have been taken again in New Zealand’s largest city. With a population of about five million, New Zealand has recorded only 25 deaths related to the new virus so far. Success was achieved through a combination of strict border controls and many corona tests.
[Alle aktuellen Entwicklungen in Folge der Coronavirus-Pandemie finden Sie hier in unserem Newsblog. Über die Entwicklungen speziell in Berlin halten wir Sie an dieser Stelle auf dem Laufenden.]
Ardern also went down in history as the second head of government in the world to give birth to a child during her tenure. Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto became the first sitting head of government in September 1988.
Ardern could not have dreamed of such a success as now in March 2017, when she became deputy chairman of her party. Less than two months before the elections, she then had to step in as a top candidate in the summer because her predecessor stepped down. But a wave of popular sympathy, known by some as “Jacinda mania,” brought Ardern to the top of the government in a very short time. (dpa, KNA, AFP)