New Zealand’s head of government on Monday announced to delay the general election due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Now, Jacinda Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months, according to CBS News.
Addressing a news conference aired live from Auckland, NZ prime minister said she had called the leaders of all the political parties represented in the parliament to get their views before making her decision Monday.
I particular, the delay will cause logistical problems, including rebooking voting venues and ensuring that the thousands of election workers needed for the poll are available on the new date. PM added she believed there was enough time to organize everything.
Now, the election will be held on Oct. 17 instead of Sept. 19.
Commenting on the delay of an election, Ms Ardern said the re-emergence of novel infection in the community was a “cause for concern” during the election period.
New Zealand faces a new virus wave
NZ government imposed a lockdown in the capital of Auckland to stem the spread of the novel virus. Over the past 24 hours, the country reported nine more COVID-19 cases.
It is worth to note that before the latest outbreak, NZ had gone 102 days without any known community transmission of the COVID-119, and life had returned to normal for most people, with restaurants and schools open and sports fans back in stadiums.
The only known cases during that time were returning travellers who were quarantined at the border. As of Monday, 1,631 people have contracted the COVID-19 nationwide and 22 have died.
“COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come. Continuously pushing out an election does not lessen the risk of disruption and this is why the electoral commission has planned for the possibility of holding an election where the country is at level 2, and with some parts at level 3,” Ardern said.
In New Zealand, the most recent general elections were held in September 2017.