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New Zealand’s Ardern, an icon to many, to step down

By NICK PERRY

 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was praised around the world for her handling of the nation’s worst mass shooting and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, said Thursday she was leaving office.

Ardern was facing mounting political pressures at home and a level of vitriol from some that hadn’t been experienced by previous New Zealand leaders. Still, her announcement came as a shock to people throughout the nation of 5 million people.

Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 would be her last day as prime minister.

“I am entering now my sixth year in office, and for each of those years, I have given my absolute all,” she said.

 

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