The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, has announced having postponed the country’s general elections by one month to October 17. Ardern says main reason behind the move is the rising numbers of coronavirus infections in New Zealand especially at the city of Auckland which is under lockdown.
“Ultimately, the 17th of October provides sufficient time for parties to plan around the range of circumstances we will be campaigning under. We are all in the same boat. We are all campaigning in the same environment,” said the Prime Minister.
Pressure from parties was building up to postpone the general elections as they were complaining they can’t campaign in such a scenario where almost 30% on the country’s population is under lockdown.
However, the Prime Minister ruled out delaying the elections any further. According to opinion polls, her Labor party maintains a significant lead over the conservative National Party.
New Zealand remains among countries which have handled the pandemic better across the world. Not long ago, the country had been declared coronavirus free before new cases started being recorded.
Political analysts feel that Ardern’s approach to the pandemic will indeed give her a upper hand against her competitors in the upcoming elections. Polls show that her popularity increased not only in New Zealand but around the world since she managed to keep the country COVID-19 free for 102 days when countries across the world were recording spiking numbers of new infections.