By Oyintari Ben
Chris Hipkins, a Labour MP from New Zealand, has been named the lone candidate for the party’s leadership and will take over as Prime Minister in place of Jacinda Ardern.
He was initially elected to the Parliament in 2008, and in November 2020, he was named minister for Covid-19.
Ms. Ardern stated that she did not have “enough in the tank” to lead in her shocking revelation on Thursday.
Given that New Zealand will face a general election in October, it is unclear how long Mr. Hipkins will remain government.
Currently, Mr. Hipkins, 44, is the Minister of Police, Education, and Public Service.
Prior to becoming leader, he still needs to receive the Labour Party’s official support in the House of Representatives on Sunday.
On February 7, Ms. Ardern will formally present her resignation to the governor-general, who will then name Mr. Hipkins as prime minister on behalf of King Charles III if he receives that support.
However, if the new Labour leader wants to keep his position following the election in 2023, he will have a difficult fight on his hands.
According to polls, inflation and rising socioeconomic inequality caused Ms. Ardern’s popularity to reach record lows.
They suggested that the country’s Labour Party received a comparable low level of public support.
The nomination of Mr. Hipkins eliminates Kiri Allan, the justice minister, from becoming the nation’s first Maori prime minister.
Mr. Hipkins will have only served as the country’s leader for eight months if Labour loses the general election, despite Harry Atkinson, former prime minister of New Zealand, occupying the position for the shortest time in 1884, lasting just eight days.