The Labor Party nominated Chris Hipkins as the next Prime Minister

The Labor Party nominated Chris Hipkins as the next Prime Minister

Following the shock resignation of Jacinda Arden, former Covid-19 pandemic chief Chris Hepkins has been nominated by Labor MPs to replace her as prime minister.

The party announced in a statement on Friday that former New Zealand Covid-19 official Chris Hipkins, 44, has been nominated by Labor MPs to replace Jacinda Ardern as prime minister.

Chris Hipkins was not formally appointed by his party’s leadership on Sunday before becoming his country’s 41st prime minister, following the shock resignation of Jacinda Ardern on Thursday.

The new prime minister will be responsible for leading his party into the general elections in October, for which he is not the candidate, according to opinion polls.

Chris Hipkins’ work at the helm of the ministry responsible for developing the response to the pandemic has been welcomed, in a country that closed its borders to reduce the risk of infection, only reopening them last August.

Having more than 14 years of experience in parliament, he admitted last year that people were tired of tough restrictions against the pandemic, describing border closures as “difficult”.

Minister of the Interior since last June, he previously held the portfolios of education and public services.

Jacinda Ardern, 42, resigned on Thursday, claiming she “didn’t have enough energy” to continue ruling after five and a half years in power. During her tenure, she faced the Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly volcanic eruption and the country’s worst ever attack, the killing of 51 Muslim worshipers at two Christchurch mosques by a white supremacist in 2019.

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