New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 42, announces she will step down next month after 6 years. Ardern said she doesn't have the energy to continue and will step down before February 7. Elections are not due until October of this year.
"The decision was my own. Leading a country is the most priviledged job anyone could have, but also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges. I no longer have enough in the tank," she said.
Ardern became one of the youngest world leaders when she was elected in 2017 at 37 years, New Zealand's third woman PM. Within a year she had given birth, only the second world leader to ever do so. She won re-election in 2020.
Elections are scheduled for October 14, 2023. But Ardern said she would step down before February 7 and a new PM would be sworn in from her Labour Party. This would allow her party to prepare for the polls with a new leader in place well in advance.