New Zealand postpones elections due to the virus

La Nouvelle-Zélande reporte ses élections à cause du virus

The prime minister of new zealand, Jacinda Ardern, although leading in the polls, decided Monday to postpone by four weeks the parliamentary elections that were planned for September, and this due to the return of the pandemic in the archipelago.

This report was a request of his coalition partners and the conservative opposition, all the political parties that have suspended their campaign due to the re-emergence of the coronavirus that had interrupted the last week a remarkable series of 102 days without local contaminations.

His government had received praise for his energetic response and effective during the onset of the pandemic in the beginning of the year. He again reacted vigorously to the back of the case, ordering the particular very fast containment of Auckland, the first city in the country.

The ruling labour party has acknowledged that the return of the epidemic had generated anxiety and might deter some voters go to the polls, if the elections had taken place as planned on September 19.

Ms Ardern, given heavily favored by the pollsters, has also recognized the concerns of his rivals who felt that the suspension of the campaign, enjoying most of his party.

No other report

At the end of a weekend of consultations to the staff and labour of the electoral commission, it has opted for a postponement to October 17.

“This decision gives all parties time to campaign during the next nine weeks and give the electoral commission enough time to ensure that an election can be held,” said Ms Ardern.

She said that the postponement meant that all the parties would campaign on the same terms and warned that there would be no second postponement, regardless of the situation.

“I have absolutely no intention to change this,” she insisted.

All the parties have suspended the last week of the campaign because of the restrictions it ordered to combat this new epidemic wave, the origin of which remains unknown.

The first four cases within a same family had been spotted in the beginning of the week. It was Monday, 58 confirmed cases, including five people who were hospitalized.

The archipelago has opted for the same strategy as the one he had followed in the spring, isolating positive cases, testing masivement the population and tracing the contacts of infected persons.

“Common sense has prevailed”

Darling of the international media, the leader, who just turned 40 years old, also enjoys in his country of a rating record of 60%, which is related to its management of the pandemic, but also to its response to the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch last year or the recent volcanic eruption of White Island.

His labour party is even in a position to win the elections alone, without the help of the Green Party and the populist New Zealand first (NZF) with which it is in coalition, for nearly three years.

The main formation of the opposition, the national Party, had estimated last week that the holding of the general elections on September 19, was now to be unthinkable, asking for a deferral to next year, or at least the end of November.

“Common sense has prevailed”, said the leader of the NZF, the deputy Prime minister Winston Peters, whose training was going to be a big disappointment, according to the institutes of survey, if the elections had been held in September.

The director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said not yet have the results of the tests performed in the cold rooms of Auckland, who shall determine if the virus has arrived with imported goods.

It has, however, assured the public that the purchase of frozen foods in the supermarket did not present any risk.

“We have no evidence of transmission by food or food packaging”, he said, noting that the assumption of a-to-human transmission was preferred.

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