New Zealand’s Prime Minister, the progressive Jacinda Ardern, achieved a landslide victory for the Labor Party in the elections held on Saturday, after being praised internationally for her management of the pandemic.
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“New Zealand tonight has shown the strongest support for the Labor Party in at least 50 years”said the president in her victory speech given in front of her euphoric coreligionists in the city of Auckland, after a few brief words in the Maori language.
The victory of the charismatic 40-year-old politician will lead the Labor Party to obtain an absolute majority in Parliament and govern without the need for alliances, a feat that no political party has achieved since the electoral reform of 1996.
With almost all of the scrutiny, Labor wins 49% of the vote, which translates to 64 seats, while Judith Collins’ National Party, with which power has historically alternated, reached 26.9 percent, which translates into 35 parliamentarians (20 less than in previous elections).
Collins, whose political formation has changed leaders three times this year, congratulated Ardern on these “exceptional” results in a rather tough appearance for this formation that represents the conservative sectors of the countryside and the city.
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Reconstruction against the impact of the covid
Ardern, who achieved popular support for his rapid and efficient management in the face of the covid-19 pandemic and forceful but conciliatory response to the supremacist attack in 2019 against two mosques in Christchurch, recalled that the signs of our times are marked by “a growing polarized world”.
“Elections are not always good to unite people, but they do not have to divide them either,” emphasized the president, promising to govern for all her compatriots in the face of the titanic task of reviving the economy in the midst of the pandemic, which has caused more than 1,500 infections, including 25 deaths, and that delayed the elections for a month.
Although at the health level the coup is not compared to other western countries, New Zealand is suffering from the effects of the country’s first economic recession since the great international financial crisis of 2008.
“We will rebuild from the covid crisis: better, stronger and with the answers to what New Zealand faces,” Ardern promised, noting that the three-year mandate obtained this Saturday will accelerate the recovery plan, which is already in place. on going.
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More progressive government
Already without the weight of the disparate coalition it formed in 2017 with the Green Party and the nationalist New Zealand First, Ardern is expected to have more leeway to deliver on some outstanding promises such as affordable housing, eliminating child poverty and generating clean energy.
One of the main criticisms of Ardern is that Labor leadership “has not been transformative,” Jennifer Lees-Marshment, an expert in political management from the University of Auckland, told EFE this week.
It is also in doubt whether Ardern, who has become a world leader in progressive sectors for his defense of the environment and his leadership focused on the welfare of the population, will ally himself with the Green Party to govern, even though he does not need it.
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The co-leader of the Green Party, Marama Davidson, congratulated Ardern’s victory and expressed that she hopes that her formation will be part of a “strong and truly progressive government”, although the president has not yet cleared this doubt.
According to preliminary data from the Electoral Commission, the Greens won 7.5 percent of the vote and the liberal ACT 8 percent, bringing each of these formations to 10 seats.
The Maori Party would obtain a seat, while New Zealand First would leave the legislative stage, after this day in which it also held two referendums: the legalization of recreational marijuana and voluntary euthanasia, the results of which will be known later.