Prime Minister Ardern announces the suspension of the general elections for four weeks. The general elections that were supposed to be held on September 19, 2020, have been rescheduled to October 17, 2020.
After a recession in the Community Transmission for almost 100 days, Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand, reported a surge in new Coronavirus cases.
The rise in new Coronavirus cases resulted in the extension of a Level Three Lockdown in Auckland and a Level Two Lockdown in the remaining Country till August 26, 2020.
Suspension Of The General Elections As A Prevention Against Rising Cases Of COVID-19
Considering the state of emergency, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held discussions with other party administrators to push back the election dates. She declared her decision to adjourn the elections till October 17, 2020, over a Live Media Conference this Monday.
P.M. Ardern says that the decision has been executed in favor of National interests. She assures the people that the Electoral Commission is formulating policies for safe and efficient elections even in a Level Three Lockdown and that the Elections shall be postponed no further than October 17.
Along with her decision to suspend the elections, Ardern declared that the Parliament would dissolve on September 6, preceding the October elections. The release of fixed dates eradicates any dilemma regarding the rescheduling of elections.
Support From The Party Leaders And Opposition
Her move to delay general elections in favor of national welfare has received support from most Party leaders along with members of the Opposition Party. National Party Leader Judith Collins expressed her support for Ardern’s decision and had earlier petitioned for the elections’ suspension till November.
Jacinda Arden amassed extensive recognition for her initial imposition of strict Lockdown regulations to curb the COVID-19 crisis.
Compared to other nations, Coronavirus cases under Ardern’s administration subsided at a tremendous pace due to her rigorous lockdown protocols.
Ardern states that her decision to delay the elections is primarily to ensure safe and unbiased polls that can be accessed by one an all. Conducting the elections during the pandemic may have resulted in a limited number of voters and could also have been a transmission hotspot despite authorities’ preventive measures.
However, some analysts point out that elections have been carried out successfully in countries like South Korea, Belarius, and Singapore which were facing a higher level of COVID-19 transmission than New Zealand.
Ardern’s decision comes across as a legitimate one since any social activity organized during the Coronavirus Pandemic holds millions of lives at stake.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay Tuned.