NZ’s PM Ardern touts success in tackling pandemic in ballot push | New Zealand
The von Ardern Labor Party is expected to win polls on October 17th, well ahead of the Conservative National Party.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday polished her leadership skills based on her successful response to the coronavirus pandemic at an election rally six days before the country’s October 17 elections.
According to polls, the Labor Party of Ardern is likely to win the election by a large margin over the conservative National Party and could form a government in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First.
“Although there was no playbook for COVID-19, we campaigned intensively early on for a strategy to eliminate it. Whenever we had new cases, we circled and eradicated them and opened our economy faster than others, ”said Ardern at a rally in the capital, Wellington.
“I will always say that it was and will always be the right thing to do.”
New Zealand, with 1,514 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and just 25 deaths out of a five million population, along with South Korea and Taiwan, was lauded for its success in fighting the novel coronavirus, partly due to rapid lockdown measures.
The 40-year-old Ardern became the youngest female leader in the world in 2017 and has won huge acclaim due to her strong response to the pandemic and how she handled the shots of a white supremacist in two mosques last year during New Zealand’s worst mass murder.
She is running for re-election on a platform to increase infrastructure spending, combat the country’s chronic housing shortage, improve health care and achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
Ardern’s closest competitor in the race is Judith Collins from the National Party, which has promised more jobs and less taxes if their party wins.
She has also warned of a possible coalition government between Labor and the Green Party that would impose new taxes.
I met Phil and Ethan this morning and they loved it when they heard about Nationals tax break plan. You would spend it locally to boost New Zealand’s economy. Nice to meet you both and everyone makes sure you come out and choose Two Ticks Blue! pic.twitter.com/NiLu7ffWGQ
– Judith Collins (@JudithCollinsMP) October 10, 2020
“This (the wealth tax) will scare all New Zealanders who are working hard to create a better life for themselves and their families, especially our older New Zealanders, who will be hard hit by this new tax,” Collins was quoted as saying.
Labor has denied that this will follow the Greens’ proposal for a so-called “wealth tax”.