New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pledged Sunday, the day after her resounding election victory, to make the reforms that a series of crises prevented her from carrying out during her first term.
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Ms Ardern’s Labor Party won 49.1 votes on Saturday, which will allow her to have an absolute majority in Parliament and to govern without a coalition.
After being criticized for not having kept her promises during her first term, particularly in terms of environmental and social protection, Ms. Ardern said she was now in a position to carry out reforms.
The charismatic Prime Minister claimed that her resounding victory, the most important for the Labor Party since 1946, means that more voters support her party and her reform agenda.
“I think they approve of the work we have done and the plan we have to move forward, and there are some areas where we want to move forward,” Ms. Ardern said.
The 40-year-old, who became a symbol of center-left progressivism after her election in 2017, acknowledged that the need to appease the small member parties of her coalition had “slowed down” her reform policy during her first term.
During it, the Labor leader also had to deal with the archipelago’s worst terrorist attack, a deadly volcanic eruption, the most severe recession in over 30 years, and of course, the historic challenge of the pandemic. .
On Saturday night, during her victory speech, she expressed her willingness to tackle issues such as climate change, poverty and inequality.
Her main opponent, National Party leader Judith Collins, admitted that voters had given Ms. Ardern carte blanche to implement the changes.
For Ms Collins, whose party won 26.8 votes, it also means the prime minister can no longer claim that her political failures are due to members of her coalition.
“The government has the mandate to implement all of its commitments, so they can no longer blame someone for not having done so,” Collins told reporters.
The election campaign focused on the government’s success in tackling the pandemic, with Ms. Ardern dubbing the ballot “Covid elections”.