New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Adern announced her resignation at a time when she is at the top of her politics after serving only five years. She stands tall in a world where leaders, Prime Ministers, Opposition Leaders, Party Leaders, don’t relinquish power easily and sometimes not even after defeat; such graceful exit from politics seemingly happens only in the ‘White’ developed world.
Although only 42, Adern wants to make way for new ideas and new leadership. Her term ends at year end. But decides to leave now. The fact that the ruling Labor Party has been losing ground to the conservative National Party in opinion polls would have influenced her decision to step down. She has been facing imminent defeat in elections to be held later this year. Rather than take the party down to defeat, she steps aside hoping that a new leader would give the party a better chance in the coming elections. And she has resigned giving the party ten months to turn around the floundering ship. Which political leader in Trinidad and Tobago will follow her magnanimous act and make such a graceful exit and give their supporters a chance in the next election? Defeat after defeat, and a leader still wants to hold on! Why? It will only lead to political cemetery for a party and its supporters. A new leader provides an opportunity for transformational political change. A leader who experienced multiple defeats should do the honorable thing and resign. It will result in a landslide victory of the party in the next election.
Vishnu Bisram (PhD)