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New Zealand Prime Minister Delays Elections Over Coronavirus Outbreak

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Associated Press
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday chose to delay 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 the virus outbreak in Auckland last week prompted the government to put the city into a two-week lockdown and halted election campaigning.

Ardern said she wouldn’t consider delaying the election again, no matter what was happening with any virus outbreaks.

Opinion polling indicates Ardern’s liberal Labour Party is favored to win a second term in office.