Authorization

New Zealand delays election by 4 weeks after virus outbreak in Auckland

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced a delay in New Zealand's national elections by four weeks as the country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city, Auckland.
The election had been scheduled for Sept 19 but will now be held on Oct 17. Under New Zealand law, Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months.
Opposition parties had been requesting a delay after a virus outbreak in Auckland last week prompted the government to put the city into a two-week lockdown and halted election campaigning.
Before the latest outbreak, New Zealand had gone 102 days without any known community transmission of the virus, and life had returned to normal for most people, who were going to restaurants, sports stadiums and schools without fear of getting infected. The only known cases during that time were returning travelers who were quarantined at the border.
Officials believe the virus was reintroduced to New Zealand from abroad but haven’t yet been able to figure out how it happened. The Auckland outbreak has grown to 49 infections, with authorities saying they believe the cases are all connected, giving them hope the virus isn’t spreading beyond the cluster.
Ardern said in making her decision, she had first called the leaders of all the political parties represented in the parliament to get their views.
“Ultimately I want to ensure we have a well-run election that gives all voters the best chance to receive all the information they need about parties and candidates, and delivers certainty for the future,” Ardern said.
She said she wouldn't consider delaying the election again, no matter what was happening with any virus outbreaks.
Opinion polling indicates Ardern's Labour Party is favored to win a second term in office.


© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Декабрь 2020    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031