Jacinda Ardern takes a thinly veiled swipe at Donald Trump as she compares New Zealand’s ‘calm oasis’ to the ‘chaos’ of the US following the two nations’ elections
- Labour leader Jacinda Ardern won New Zealand election in landslide last month
- She spoke to reporters on Thursday as tense US election hung in the balance
- The Prime Minister said the country made her nation look like a ‘calm oasis’
New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern has said the tense US election makes her country look like a ‘calm oasis in a chaotic and difficult world.’
The 40-year-old Labour Party leader, who won her own election in a landslide last month, spoke to reporters on Thursday morning after President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory and filed lawsuits to halt vote counting.
As the race for the White House hung in the balance, the US recorded its worst-ever daily tally of coronavirus cases with 103,000 new infections on Wednesday and hospital beds filling up fast.
New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has said the tense US election makes her country look like a ‘calm oasis in a chaotic and difficult world’
Meanwhile, life is largely back to normal in New Zealand with pubs open and rugby stadiums full after the small island nation eliminated the disease with border closures and a tough lock down from March to June.
‘I’m speaking with you at a time when New Zealand feels like a calm oasis in a chaotic and difficult world,’ a smiling Ms Ardern told reporters.
Referring to how American politics has becoming increasingly polarised in recent months, she added: ‘I watched the results of the US election roll in, and I couldn’t help but reflect on our own elections in recent years.
‘Increasingly I’ve come to believe that we have to find ways that strong views can be held, and expressed, but without the accompanying partisanship that stops us from working to build consensus where it really matters.’
In an extraordinary speech at 2am after the election, Trump saw his early lead slipping and claimed, with no evidence, that a ‘fraud on the American nation’ was being carried out over the way votes were being counted.
In an extraordinary speech at 2am after the election, Trump (pictured) saw his early lead slipping and claimed, with no evidence, that a ‘fraud on the American nation’ was being carried out
His team has filed lawsuits in Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania to halt counting, claiming his people have not been allowed to oversee the process to ensure it is being carried out fairly.
Asked if she would condemn Trump’s baseless claims of fraud, Ms Ardern said: ‘We have faith in the institutions in the United States.
‘And of course faith that those final votes will continue to be counted and that there will be a final result declared.
‘This is another country’s democracy and now it’s time for us to let it run its course.’
Ms Ardern has previously said she does not have a friendly relationship with Trump and revealed the US leader didn’t even congratulate her on her election victory.
But she refused to say that she would rather work with Biden in the White House.
‘My job in this role as prime minister is to work with whoever another country decides should be the leader in the same way that New Zealand expects every other country to work with whoever elect as prime minister,’ she said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also refused to pick a winner and said he has faith in the US system.
‘Well, the great thing about the United States, it is a great democracy and it does have great institutions and we have a deep and wide relationship with the United States which is incredibly important to Australia,’ he said.
‘We are both like-minded and like in so many ways. Our values, our partnerships, economics, security and in so many ways.
‘And I have great confidence in the democracy of the United States and I have great confidence in their institutions and the thing about great institutions and democracies is they deal with whatever challenges come, just like our own does.
‘A great democracy having an election with the greatest turnout it’s ever seen in its history is actually a demonstration of democracy working.’
Trump claimed, without evidence, that ballots were being added after polls closed to inflate Biden’s vote. In fact, ballots were being counted which is perfectly legal
Asked specifically if he rejected Trump’s claims of fraud, Mr Morrison said: ‘I’m not a participant in the US political process.
‘Australia is a partner with the United States and we respect the decisions that the American people make in their democracy.
‘And we’ll be patient and we’ll await the outcome of their process. It’s not for me to run a commentary on those things and I won’t.
‘I work with the President of the United States as the Prime Minister of Australia and I enjoy a very productive working relationship with the President and I will always put Australian’s interest first in that relationship.’
Donald Trump on Wednesday at 2.30am, declaring election victory despite many of the votes still being counted. He has vowed to go to the Supreme Court to challenge what he is calling a ‘fraud’ outcome so far