Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide victory in New Zealand’s general election on Saturday Oct. 17.
With just two-thirds of the vote counted, Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party was on 49.2 per cent and forecast to take around 64 seats in the 120-member parliament.
No leader has achieved an absolute majority since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996, leading to a succession of multi-party governments.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote a congratulatory letter to Ardern for her decisive showing in the election.
In his letter, PM Lee praised her, and her government's, handling of the Covid-19 crisis, saying the public trust and confidence in her leadership translated to the resounding victory.
He also looked forward to working with Ardern to advance mutual interests.
Here is the letter:
"Warmest congratulations on leading the Labour Party to a resounding victory at New Zealand’s General Election! Your win reflects the continued trust and confidence that New Zealanders have in your leadership, particularly your government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Singapore and New Zealand are close friends and longstanding partners. We upgraded relations to an Enhanced Partnership (EP) during your official visit to Singapore in May 2019.
The EP has taken on greater significance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with concrete cooperation in areas such as supply chain connectivity, vaccine multilateralism and the digital economy.
I look forward to working with you to advance our mutual interests, both bilaterally and at international fora. I also pledge Singapore’s support during your chairmanship of APEC next year.
I wish you continued success in your new term and look forward to meeting you again when circumstances permit."
Top image courtesy of Kenji Soon, via MCI