AUCKLAND.- The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, that achieved international recognition in recent months for its management in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, stood today with a landslide victory in the general elections and obtained a result never seen on the island: his Labor Party obtained the majority necessary to govern alone.
With almost all the votes counted, the Labor Party de Ardern had 49% of the vote, almost double the support of his main rival, the conservative National Party (about 27%). In this way, obtained 64 seats in Parliament, three more than necessary to reach an absolute majority, something that has not happened since New Zealand implemented a proportional voting system 25 years ago.
Usually the parties must form alliances to govern, but this time Ardern and the progressives will be able to do it alone.
“Today New Zealand showed the Labor Party the strongest support in the last 50 years”, said the reelected prime minister, 40, celebrating the victory in the bunker installed in Auckland Town Hall, where she shared the stage with her husband, Clarke Gayford, and part of his cabinet. He added that his party works for “all New Zealanders.”
Earlier, his rival, Judith Collins, he had admitted defeat: “To Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whom I have phoned, congratulations on the result because it is, I think, an exceptional result for the Labor Party.”
A record number of voters voted early in the two weeks before the official election date.
During the campaign, Ardern was greeted like a rock star for the people who crowded into shopping malls and went out to greet her and take selfies with her.
His popularity soared earlier this year when he successfully led the country’s fight to eradicate the coronavirus. Nowadays, the nation of five million people has no cases of local transmission and it is no longer mandatory to wear a chinstrap or keep social distance. Total, the country registered 1883 cases and 25 deaths from Covid-19.
AP and AFP agencies