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World News

21 Jun 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to first child

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives birth to first child
REUTERS:

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to her first child, a girl, on Thursday, Ardern said in a posting on Instagram.

Ardern, 37, became New Zealand’s youngest prime minister when she took office through a coalition deal last year after an inconclusive election, and now becomes the first woman in the country’s history to give birth while in office.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has stepped in as acting prime minister and will run the country for the next six weeks while Ardern takes maternity leave, according to an agreement they published earlier.

Ardern gave birth in Auckland Hospital, the country’s largest public hospital, with her partner, television presenter Clarke Gayford, at her side.

Ardern is one of the few elected leaders to hold office while pregnant. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto gave birth while she was prime minister in 1990.

The public has generally been supportive of the popular prime minister. New Zealand has long had a progressive reputation and was the first country to give women the right to vote in 1893 and Ardern is the country’s third female prime minister.

Ardern found out she was pregnant on Oct. 13, just six days before she was propelled into the job when Peters, the leader of the New Zealand First Party, announced he was siding with her Labour Party in post-election negotiations.

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