Jacinda Ardern, election favorite in New Zealand

The young prime minister distinguished herself during the Covid-19 pandemic and should logically be renewed at the end of the legislative elections.

By Grégory Plesse

Walkabout for Labor leader Jacinda Ardern during a campaign meeting last week at Otara Market in Auckland.
Walkabout for Labor leader Jacinda Ardern during a campaign meeting last week at Otara Market in Auckland. FIONA GOODALL/REUTERS

It would almost be sad for Judith Collins, the candidate invested by the main opposition party, as her chances of provoking alternation on the New Zealand political scene seem meager. On the eve of the legislative elections, initially scheduled for last month but postponed due to coronavirus, the Nationals (center-right) are fifteen points behind Labor, which the latest polls credit with 46% of voting intentions. The gap is even more pronounced when we ask New Zealanders who is their favorite candidate to lead the government: 55% of them answer Jacinda Ardern, and only 20% prefer Judith Collins.

It must be said that faced with the Covid-19 crisis, the outgoing Prime Minister, who turned 40 last July, has an excellent record. 25 deaths, 1,876 cases recorded since the start of the pandemic… The radical measures taken at the first signs of the appearance of the pandemic, in particular one of the strictest confinements

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“Covid-19 election” – landslide victory for Jacinda Ardern

Dhe government’s tough stance in the Corona crisis has now also paid off politically: The Labor Party of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern achieved a historic victory in the parliamentary elections on Saturday. For the first time since proportional representation based on the German model was introduced in New Zealand in the 1990s, a party has achieved an absolute majority. Ardern’s social democratic party can even govern alone without having to enter into a coalition with the Greens, as many expected. With 49.1 percent of the vote, she has 64 of the 120 seats in parliament. The opposition National Party under the challenger Judith Collins only got 26.8 percent and 35 seats. Ten seats go to the Greens (7.6 percent) and the right-wing conservative ACT (8.0 percent).

On the evening of the election in Auckland, Ardern also thanked the voters who do not belong to the social democratic core electorate. She promised to be a head of government for all New Zealanders. But she also pointed out that she has now achieved the best result for her party in at least five decades. With a view to the corona pandemic, she said New Zealand would emerge stronger from it. “There is a lot of work ahead of us in the next three years. After the Covid crisis, we will build up New Zealand better than it was before, ”said the 40-year-old head of government. And: “I say thank you. This wasn’t a normal choice. … She was full of uncertainty and worry. Let’s move forward together. ”Opposition leader Judith Collins had previously recognized Labor’s victory in the election.

The government has primarily rewarded the 3.7 million eligible voters for its successful crisis management. In the course of the pandemic, she succeeded for the second time in reducing the number of local infections to zero. With fewer than 2,000 cases and 25 deaths, New Zealand is among the model students in the fight against the pandemic. While other countries in Europe are now imposing restrictions again, life in New Zealand has largely returned to normal. The New Zealanders are again without masks in cafes and shops. Another rugby match recently took place in front of tens of thousands of spectators. Nevertheless, the election campaign was dominated by the pandemic. Commentators even spoke of a “Covid-19 election”. The election itself had to be postponed by a month due to a temporary Covid outbreak in the economic metropolis of Auckland.

The five million New Zealanders largely agree that they owe their success in the fight against the pandemic to the rigorous actions of their Prime Minister. Under the motto “Intervene hard and early”, Ardern had closed the borders at a time when the number of infections was still very low and imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. This had serious consequences, especially for the economy. But the New Zealanders have more than 90 percent agreed to the tough measures in surveys. The head of government had also tried to explain her measures to the people directly.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Ardern wins parliamentary elections by a huge margin

Election victory

Arden’s party could even win an absolute majority.

(Photo: AFP)

Wellington In the parliamentary elections in New Zealand, the incumbent Labor Party with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a historic victory. For the first time since the current electoral law was introduced in 1996, a party in the Pacific state won an absolute majority.

The 40-year-old Ardern, who has been in office since 2017, can rule alone – something that has not happened in New Zealand for decades. Labor has 64 of the 120 seats after almost all of the votes are counted. The conservative National Party with the top candidate Judith Collins (61) won only 35 seats. The party had ruled continuously from 2008 to 2017.

A commentator on New Zealand television spoke of a “considerable left slide”. Ardern, also known abroad for her successful crisis management, has been in office since 2017.

Her fiercest opponent in the election was Judith Collins (61) from the conservative National Party, which, according to the first results, only has about 30 seats. According to surveys in the run-up to the vote, Ardern was the favorite.

She has ruled a coalition of Labor, the Greens and the small populist New Zealand First party, which is known for its anti-immigrant positions. Three years ago the party had tipped the scales and surprisingly brought Ardern into office. Now she clearly lost. The Greens, however, were able to gain.

Ardern has also received a lot of international recognition for its handling of the Christchurch attacks, in which a right-wing extremist from Australia shot 51 Muslims in two mosques last year, and for its successful fight against the corona pandemic. So far, the Pacific country has come through the pandemic very lightly and recently declared for the second time that it had the virus under control.

The 3.7 million eligible voters also voted in two referendums on the legalization of cannabis as a recreational drug and the legalization of euthanasia. The results of these referendums should not be published until the end of October.

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First New Zealand ballot boxes open for early round of voting | NOW

In New Zealand, the ballot boxes were opened on Saturday for an early ballot box. The elections will officially take place on October 17, but 450 polling stations have already been opened on Saturday.

In the previous elections, in 2017, 47 percent of voters used the option to vote earlier. That percentage is expected to be higher this year because of the corona crisis.

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the head of the Labor Party, already cast her vote on Saturday, along with her partner Clarke Gayford. Ardern hopes to be re-elected for a second term.

Ardern is high in the polls, and if the election results match, Labor will be able to form a government without a coalition.

The party has gained international renown for its approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its response to last year’s attack on two mosques.

The elections coincide with two referendums: one for the legalization of cannabis and one for the legalization of euthanasia.

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American sport stops for Jacob Blake, the Christchurch attack, hurricane Laura, “Golfgate” … the news of this Thursday morning

The news

(Photo AFP)

New Zealand. Christchurch mosque killer Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison Thursday without parole for murdering 51 worshipers in New Zealand in 2019. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed the verdict on Thursday, saying the killer “Deserves a life of total and absolute silence”.

Jacob Blake. Protesting police fire on Jacob Blake, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their NBA game on Wednesday, followed by other baseball, football and even tennis player Naomi Osaka. A strong and unprecedented act in professional sport in the United States.

Education. The Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of schools have made it impossible for at least a third of students in the world, or 463 million children, to benefit from an education, for lack of being able to do so virtually, according to a Unicef ​​report published on Wednesday. The UN warns of a “Global educational emergency”.

Covid-19. Turnaround. In the United States, health authorities have quietly changed their guidelines and now discourage Covid-19 screening for people without symptoms. Donald Trump has often claimed that his country should screen less, judging that the tests gave a bad image of the management of the pandemic in his country.

«Golfgate». The European Commissioner for Trade, the Irish Phil Hogan was forced to leave his post, splashed by a matter of domestic politics for non-compliance with health rules linked to the epidemic. Our article.

Tiktok. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said on Wednesday he was leaving the hugely popular social network, in a statement. His resignation comes after the decisions taken by US President Donald Trump against the Chinese video-sharing application, which he accuses of spying for the benefit of Beijing.

To be continued today

SABINE PASS, TX - AUGUST 26: Waves from the storm surge from Hurricane Laura began to come ashore at Sea Rim State Park on August 26, 2020 in Sabine Pass, Texas. Laura rapidly strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane during the day, prompting the National Hurricane Center to describe the accompanying storm surge as (Photo AFP)

Hurricane. Hurricane Laura hit the Louisiana coast on Thursday, after strengthening into category four on a scale of five, US weather services said. “The extremely dangerous hurricane Laura, Category 4, made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana “ with winds blowing up to 240 kilometers per hour, said the National Hurricane Center (NHC), in its latest report released at 1 am (8 am French time). Our article.

Pandemic. Prime Minister Jean Castex is due to hold a press conference this Thursday morning about the resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic and a few days before the start of the school year. He will be accompanied by Minister of Health Olivier Véran and Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer. On Wednesday, during his back-to-school press conference, Blanquer reaffirmed his desire to maintain the back-to-school period on September 1, under conditions “As normal as possible”, on a case-by-case basis. Our article.

Republican Convention. On the third day of the Republican convention in the United States, Vice-President Mike Pence was to present Donald Trump on Wednesday as the sole bulwark against the threat of the “radical left”. “You will not be safe in Joe Biden’s America”, should declare the vice president.

The report

Flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires jump Interstate 80 in Vacaville, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. The highway was closed in both directions shortly afterward. Fire crews across the region scrambled to contain dozens of wildfires sparked by lightning strikes as a statewide heat wave continues. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)(Photo AFP)

California. The state of the American West is ravaged by spectacular fires which have destroyed more than 530,000 hectares. Already affected by the Covid-19 crisis, some displaced people fear losing their jobs, for lack of being able to telework. Our report.

L’interview

(Photo 12)

Animated series. From “Bonne Nuit les Petits” to “Totally Spies!”, Sociologist Mélanie Lallet in her latest book points to the representations of gender that are often stereotyped in French animated series. To read here.

LIBERATION

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New Zealand, earthquake during Premier Ardern’s interview. VIDEO

A 5.8 magnitude shock interrupted the country’s prime minister during a live interview from Parliament building in the capital Wellington. No loss of calm, just a reassuring smile: “Maybe you see things moving behind me”

Is it not among the first qualities of a good premier, that of being able to remain calm at all times? Certainly Jacinda Ardern has shown her nerves today when an earthquake started during the television interview she was releasing live. “We are feeling a shock I know, Ryan. A shock not bad,” says the New Zealand premier, with a nervous smile.

The premier’s reaction

Ardern was inside the parliament building. “You see things moving behind me. Parliament (called” the beehive “, the shape of the beehive) swings a little more than the other buildings,” manages to ironically Ardern, who has not interrupted the interview, ” Ok, it’s over. We’re fine, thanks Ryan (Bridge, the reporter). I’m not in any light or dangling object. It looks like I’m in a structurally solid place. ”

The earthquake

The shock felt by Ardern was of magnitude 5.8 and hit New Zealand in an area close to the south coast of the northern island, not far from the city of Wellington. Geonet located the epicenter 30 km north-west of Levin, at a depth of 37 km. So far, no particular casualties or damage have been reported, nor have tsunami alarms been issued.

Relaxation of coronavirus measures

deepening

Coronavirus, New Zealand: long lines in front of barbers. PHOTO

In the interview, Ardern was announcing that New Zealand will further ease restrictions on citizens’ movements due to the coronavirus starting on Friday, allowing the number of participants in funeral parties or religious services to increase from 10 to 100 people. Three weeks after the first easing of the more stringent level 4 closure rules, the prime minister said a new wave of infections had been avoided. With the current ‘level 2’ restrictions, schools and most businesses have been able to reopen despite strict physical distance rules, but all gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. The cabinet will discuss blocking rules again on June 8, Arden said, and will assess by June 22 whether the country can safely switch to the lighter level 1 restrictions. New Zealand has recorded fewer than 1,500 confirmed cases and 21 deaths from the virus.

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New Zealand studies four-day work week to boost economy after coronavirus


Jacinda Ardern, at a press conference this Wednesday.
AFP

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested that employees benefit from additional vacations anda four-day work weekto revive the economy, affected by seven weeks of confusion due to the coronavirus.

Ardern said he wants to encourage creative ideas and offer “flexibility,” with the goal of promotingrecovery after strict confinementwhich has kept the coronavirus at bay but has taken its toll on the economy.

Among the proposed initiatives are the transition to the four-day week and the granting of more holidays to stimulate spending in the tourism and hotel sectors, particularly affected.

“This is an exceptional moment and we should be ready to consider extraordinary ideas,” the prime minister told the press, assuring that she had not “excluded any possibility.”

According to Ms. Ardern, there are “many options available and we have to be open” to them.

After meeting with representatives of the tourism industry on Tuesday, the Prime Minister assured that thetelework experienceDuring lockdown, it has demonstrated how workers can be productive in exchange for greater flexibility.

According to her,the four day week could be an optionas long as employers are willing to try.

“See if it can work … because it will certainly help tourism throughout the country,” he told them.

New Zealand, which has a population offive million peoplehas so far managed the epidemic relatively effectively, thanks to very strict containment imposed since the end of March.

The new coronavirus has killed 21 people in the archipelago. The country’s borders remain closed, but the inhabitants are free to travel within the country.

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Jacinda Ardern: New Zealand Prime Minister’s popularity turns against her in the kitchen | Global World Blog

The Prime Minister of New Zealand grew in popularity for her magnanimity and integrity in the attacks on two Christchurch mosques by an ultra that killed 51 people on March 15, 2019. Ardern put on a hijab and embraced the families of the murdered Muslims as a clear sign of empathy with them. “They are us,” he declared at a press conference.

So much popularity also has not so positive consequences, although luckily for her they remain in the field of fun. A television presenter from the oceanic country wanted to pay tribute to the president by cooking a cake with her face. On the 14th, Laura Daniel shared with her more than 16,000 followers on Instagram a photo of the result. Next to the cake, a book with a photo of Ardern on the cover.

The presence in the image of the book, the biography An Extraordinary Leader, it is revealed more than necessary. In her pastry portrait the Prime Minister is unrecognizable. Ardern’s hair, a handful of black licorice, lies on a bed of some kind of white cream, similar to another substance used by the presenter and confectioner amateur for the face, which seems to have melted. Black eyebrows drip over dislocated blue eyes, and his mouth, painted as if he wanted to portray the man instead of the president. Joker of Batman, it is finished off with teeth that are too real that, with the naked eye, illuminate suspicions that the author has resorted to false teeth.

“They say don’t cook your heroes, but I wanted to try it anyway. I’m so sorry, Jacinta Ardern. I really tried to do my best with what I had on hand ”, the presenter has apologized. The Prime Minister has seen the result and has responded to Laura Daniel from her official Instagram account with two stunned emoticons.

The humorous comments have followed the publication. “At least we already know what our prime minister would look like if she were addicted to crack ”, write one down. “Have you seen the movie Saw and the hideous puppet? Yes, it is identical, “mocks another. “Who have you stolen your teeth from?” Asks a third. “Thank you. I did not want to sleep tonight and this will help me ”, ironized a user. The publication already exceeds 5,500 I like.

The Prime Minister is forgiven even for diplomatic lapses. Last March, on a visit to Japan, he confused the country with its historical rival, China, and excused himself saying naturally that the error was due to jet lag. It has also shown signs of empathy with the population to the economic crisis stemming from the covid-19 pandemic. This Wednesday announced that all members of the New Zealand Government, including herself, will reduce their salary by 20% in recognition of the sacrifices of citizens for the decreed containment measures.

Popularity has also carried over into the entertainment world. An actress, Melanie Bracewell, whose followers reminded her of her resemblance to the Prime Minister, has begun to imitate her in videos she records in her confinement. “If you told me six months ago that I was going to spend hours making videos on TikTok, I would have laughed in your face, but now I’m going to be showing cheekbones forever,” the comedian joked, The Guardian, referring to the face of the prime minister, which she mimics.

Ardern, born in 1980, was the youngest member of Parliament at 28, and in 2017, when she was elected Prime Minister, she also became the youngest head of Government in the world. So much is his charisma, that New Zealanders have coined a term, jacindamania, to refer to the popularity of the chief executive, a vein for the Labor ranks. After becoming the leader of the Labor Party in August 2017, her training was flooded with donations. In a single day, the party acknowledged having received NZ $ 100,000 (about € 55,300 at the current exchange rate). In November 2018, many of her followers stood in line in front of the Dunedin City Hall (south of the country) to see her, and most were left with the desire when the capacity of the 1,200-person building was completed.

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