The election was just officially delayed and the COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed. There was initially some hope that a delay could be avoided, but this turned out to be a pipe dream.
“New Zealand on Monday postponed its election to focus on fighting a second wave of the coronavirus as Europe tightened restrictions to curb fresh outbreaks of the disease,” reported Yahoo! News.
According to the report, the island country — which has a population of nearly 5 million people — has rescheduled the election to October 17 “after the shock discovery of COVID-19 in Auckland.”
Previously, New Zealand had gone an impressive 102 days “without community transmission,” but now that streak has ended. The election delay is an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading further.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that postponing the election allows additional time to campaign and gives “the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead,” reported Reuters.
Ardern, a liberal, has thrust the nation back into lockdown as well, even though the case found in Auckland can hardly be called an “outbreak.” As a result, New Zealand’s economy continues to suffer.
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