Labour Caucus looks for a successor to Jacinda Ardern


Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (RNZ Photo by Samuel Rillstone)

Dr Malini Yugendran

Auckland, January 19, 2023

Jacinda Ardern shocked the world with her announcement of her resignation as Prime Minister of New Zealand this Morning (January 19, 2023) in Napier at the Labour.

Almost every newspaper, radio station and television channel around the world reported the resignation of the 42-year-old Prime Minister.

Election of a new Leader

In reaction to Ms Ardern’s resignation, several questions have been raised, including who will succeed her as Prime Minister and when this will happen.

The candidate who replaces Ms Ardern as leader of the Labour Party will also be the next Prime Minister. The Labour Party caucus is to decide within seven days. The candidate who receives at least two-thirds of the vote will be elected. The caucus has agreed to have the voting on Sunday.

Labour Party has a 64-member caucus and the candidate who gets a minimum of 44 votes will become the leader of the party and the country.

According to RNZ, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, as well as Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis, have ruled themselves out as candidates. As a result, obtaining a two-thirds majority may be difficult for any single person.

Where the Caucus cannot agree on a leader with a two-thirds majority, voting will be opened to the wider Labour Party members and union supporters.

Should the voting be opened to the wider membership, the leader will then be chosen based on a collated percentage of the votes from each assemblage: 40% of caucus members’ votes, 40% of party members and 20% of affiliated unions’ votes. In this scenario, it may take longer to decide who the next Prime Minister will be.

The last time that a decision for a leader was opened to the wider membership, was in 2014 when David Cunliffe resigned. Andrew Little took over, after more than a month.

Ms Ardern will stay on as Prime Minister until a replacement is found. She has said that she will not be backing any single candidate.

Minister of Education  Chris Hipkins, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood and Minister of Housing Megan Woods are in the running.

About Jacinda Ardern

Ms Ardern has served in the role of Prime Minister for five years and 85 days. She had led the country not during peacetime but rather through crisis, death, and disasters. She exits with dignity after leaving behind a legacy of love, care and compassion that she portrayed during the Christchurch Mosque attack and through the Beehive pandemic updates.

Ms Ardern said that she has no plans for the future except to care for her daughter Neve and see her on her first day in school and marry her fiancé, Clark Gayford.

Dr Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Auckland.

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