WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealanders will go to polls on September 19 to decide on a second term for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and also to vote in referendums on the divisive issues of legalizing cannabis and euthanasia. FILE PHOTO: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses the media in the aftermath of the eruption of White Island volcano, also known by its Maori name Whakaari, at Whakatane, New Zealand December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva Ardern is hugely popular among liberal voters overseas thanks to her compassionate but decisive response to a mass shooting, her focus on climate change action and multilateralism, and her ability to combine motherhood and leadership. But her popularity at home has been affected by slowing economic growth and low business confidence, a failed state housing project and scandals within her coalition government. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term challenges facing New Zealand,” Ardern told a news conference. Political pundits are predicting a close contest, with scheduled referendums on legalizing cannabis and euthanasia expected to be distracting and divisive…. Read full this story
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