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New Zealand PM Ardern sets September 19 as election date

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called an election for September 19, a contest that will test her popularity which soared after her response to a terror attack last year but has since taken a hit due to economic issues.

Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party-led coalition came to power in 2017 and is seeking a second term. An election has to take place by the coming November.

Ardern’s 2017 campaign focusing on positive messaging and connecting directly with voters unexpectedly brought her coalition to power.

The 39-year-old leader has since won praise globally for her views on issues such as women’s rights, climate change and diversity. She was widely commended for swiftly tightening gun laws following a mass shooting in two Christchurch mosques last year.

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