New Zealand delays election after new coronavirus outbreak in Auckland

World

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. Ardern announced that the three-day lockdown in Auckland would be extended by another 12 days at level 3, the rest of New Zealand will stay at level 2 restrictions as health authorities investigate the source of the first domestic coronavirus outbreak in more than three months. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chosen to delay New Zealand’s national elections by four weeks as the country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city Auckland.

The election had been scheduled for Sept. 19 but will now be held on Oct. 17. Under New Zealand law, Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months.

Opposition political parties had been requesting a delay after a virus outbreak in Auckland last week prompted the government to put the city into a two-week lockdown and halted election campaigning.

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