Chris Hipkins nominated as next PM by Labor Party

After the surprise resignation of Jacinda Arden, the former head of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic Chris Hipkins has been nominated by Labor Party MPs to replace her as Prime Minister.

Ex-New Zealand Covid-19 pandemic chief Chris Hipkins, 44, has been nominated by Labor MPs to replace Jacinda Ardern as Prime Ministerthe party said in a statement on Friday.

Chris Hipkins has yet to be formally appointed by his party’s leadership on Sunday before he can become his country’s 41st prime minister, following the surprise resignation of Jacinda Ardern on Thursday.

The new head of government will be responsible for leading his party in the general elections in October, for which he is not the favorite, according to the polls.

The action of Chris Hipkins has been hailed at the head of the ministry responsible for developing the response to the pandemic, in a country which closed its borders in order to limit the risk of infection, and only reopened them in August last.

Considered experienced with more than 14 years in parliament, he admitted last year that people were fed up with tough pandemic restrictions, describing border closures as “difficult”.

Minister of the Interior since June, he had previously held the portfolios of Education and Public Services.

Jacinda Ardern, 42, resigned Thursday, claiming to have “no longer enough energy” to continue to govern after five and a half years in power. During her mandate, she was confronted with the Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly volcanic eruption and the worst attack ever perpetrated in the country, the murder of 51 Muslim worshipers in two mosques in Christchurch by a white supremacist in 2019.

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