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P.M. Tuilaepa congratulates Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has congratulated New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on winning a second term in office.

Tuilaepa offered the congratulations in a letter to Ms. Ardern dated 19 October 2020, his office shared with the media on Wednesday evening.

Tuilaepa congratulated Ms. Ardern on behalf of the Government and people of Samoa, calling her re-election a testament to her service.

“Your re-appointment is testament to your service in the Parliament of New Zealand and re-affirmation of the support and confidence of the people of New Zealand in your leadership,” Tuilaepa said.

“I wish you and your Government every success in the discharge of your High Office and mandate.”

In his congratulatory message, Tuilaepa said he hopes their two countries will work together on the Blue Pacific agenda, the Pacific Reset (New Zealand’s Pacific foreign policy) and the PACER Plus Agreement.

Prime Minister Ardern and her Labour Party won New Zealand’s elections on Saturday with an unprecedented majority and can govern without a coalition if she wants.

Labour has 64 seats in Parliament, around a third of them List Members of Parliament while the rest won their electorate seat.

Labour and its previous coalition partner the Green Party have been in discussions this week but so far have not officially revealed if they will have another coalition this term, with talks continuing into next week.

The new Government is expected to be sworn in in the first week of November, with a decisison still to be publicised on who will be Deputy Prime Minister.

In her election night address, Ms. Ardern said Labour has won the mandate to govern.

“New Zealand remains an important friend and close development partner for Samoa,” Tuilaepa said.

“The close relations and cooperation that our two countries enjoy, particularly on matters of mutual interest, characterises the maturity of friendship and collaboration between our two countries. 

“I have every confidence that you and your Government will continue to play an important role in strengthening regional and national efforts to address issues of criticality to our Blue Pacific agenda during these challenging times we are in. 

“I look forward to working closely with you in progressing increased security, development and prosperity for our two countries under initiatives such as the Pacer Plus Agreement and Pacific Reset. 

“Please accept the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Ms. Ardern’s win has been celebrated both regionally and internationally. Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was among the first leaders to take to Twitter the day after the election, calling her win a success for the planet too.

“Proud to see my friend @jacindaardern score a historic victory,” he tweeted.

“With a full embrace of a #netzerocommitment by 2050, this was also a landslide win for the climate. Your friends in Fiji are ready to keep moving with our work to make the Pacific and our planet a better place.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looks forward to continuing to work together.

““Whether it’s fighting climate change, empowering women and girls around the world, or ensuring equitable vaccine distribution, I look forward to continuing our work together - and keeping the Canada-New Zealand friendship strong,” he shared on Twitter and in a statement on his website. 

“Our two countries will continue to work together to defend our shared values and international institutions, as we build a prosperous future for all our citizens through agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the recently concluded Global Trade and Gender Arrangement.”

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Kahn and the Prime Minister of Indonesia Joko Widodo have also expressed their congratulations, as well as United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the Dalai Lama.

“I congratulate Jacinda Ardern on her party's resounding victory in the New Zealand general election,” the spiritual leader said. 

“I admire the courage, wisdom and leadership, as well as the calm, compassion and respect for others, she has shown in these challenging times."

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