New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern sworn in for second term

4 weeks ago 4

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was sworn in for a second term Friday, as final election results showed her landslide victory was even bigger than previously thought.

Jacinda Ardern and her ministers made their oaths of office in English and Maori during a ceremony at Wellington's Government House.

"I would say simply that sitting at this table is Aotearoa New Zealand," Ardern said, gesturing to her gathered team, in which women and Maori are strongly represented.

"They collectively represent a range of different perspectives, huge talent, enormous experience and, as you would expect in any time of crisis, a huge commitment to serving this country."

New Zealand voted to award Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a second term in office on Saturday. Prime Minister Ardern's liberal Labour Party won a historic mandate by securing 49 per cent of the vote in comparison to the 27 per cent bagged by its primary challenger, the conservative National Party.

In fact, this is the first time since New Zealand implemented a proportional voting system 24 years ago that a single party (Labour) won an outright majority of seats in Parliament. Jacinda Ardern was voted to the top job in 2017 when her Labour Party entered into an alliance with two other parties.

This time around, the Labour Party will be able to comfortably form a government on its own, a first for the party in 50 years. Its ally Green Party won 7.5 per cent of the voters while the libertarian ACT Party managed to increase its vote share to 8 per cent this time around. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his New Zealand First party was voted out.

During the 2020 elections, New Zealanders also voted on two key issues- whether to legalise marijuana and euthanasia. Results to both referendums will be announced on October 30.

We set out to be antidote to uncertainty: Jacinda Ardern

Addressing supporters in Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in her victory speech, "This has not been an ordinary election, and it's not an ordinary time. It's been full of uncertainty and anxiety, and we set out to be an antidote to that."

Associated Press quoted Ardern as saying, "We are living in an increasingly polarized world, a place where, more and more, people have lost the ability to see one another's point of view. I think in this election, New Zealanders have shown that this is not who we are."

(With inputs from AFP)

Read Entire Article