Days after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide victory in New Zealand's general election Saturday, a victory selfie that she posted on her Instagram account has been going viral.
In the rather candid post she shared on the photo-sharing platform, Ardern wrote, "Back in the Beehive. A chance to catch up with our new MPs, thank the team who were working behind the scenes during the last six weeks, and to feel grateful just for being here again".
The selfies has perhaps become one of the most celebrated selfies that any world leader has ever posted in what is a clear singh of her victory and popularity.
Who is Jacinda Ardern?
Ardern, 40, is the leader of the New Zeland Labour Party since 2017 when she burst onto the global after becoming the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37. On Saturday, she became the two-time PM of NZ. First elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP in 2008, Ardern's rise through the ranks has been meteoric.
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. Her conservative National Party was expected to take around 35 seats in what appears to be its worst result in nearly 20 years. Ardern's performance beat pre-election opinion polls and put Labour on course for its strongest showing since 1946.
Ehat is Jacindamania or the Jacinda affect?
Party president Claire Szabo praised the campaign of the charismatic leader, who sparked a wave of support dubbed "Jacinda-mania" when she took over the party in 2017 as it was languishing in the polls. The term was coined to describe the extreme support, enthusiasm and attention, both from voters and the media, after her historic 2017 victory.
What have the Jacinda-years been like?
The Ardern years have been marked by her penchant for "relentless positivity". In a hectic first term, Ardern has faced New Zealand's worst terror attack, a deadly volcanic eruption, the country's deepest recession in more than 30 years, and the shared global threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. Along the way, she also had a baby and became the international standard-bearer for progressive politics in an era of right-wing populist strongmen.
How did Ardern secure a majority?
Ardern's campaign pitch focused heavily on her government's success in containing the coronavirus, with New Zealand recording only 25 deaths in a population of five million people. The love that her selfie is getting is proof of the public adoration she receives from fans and supporters. Following the reelection, however, Ardern’s left-leaning government is expected to face a looming economic hangover from COVID-19, a deep plunge in output and surge in debt after her strict lockdowns, a worsening housing crisis and a growing divide between rich and poor.
(With inputs from Agencies)