Will the General Election 2020 be postponed?
Auckland, March 23, 2020
Will the general election 2020 be postponed in the wake of the increasing spread of coronavirus?
This is perhaps too early a question to answer but if the current mood of the Nation is any indication, such a decision may eventuate in a few weeks.
As if a prelude, National, the single largest Party in Parliament and the main opposition, has advised all its MPs to stop their election campaign.
Labour Party MPs have not been campaigning since the first case of Covid-19 was declared on February 28, 2020.
Party Leader Simon Bridges made the following announcement this morning.
I have asked all of our MPs to suspend any form of campaigning.
MPs to support constituents
Our MPs and candidates will still be in their communities offering help and advice to their constituents, giving out important information and advocating for them.
I have offered the Prime Minister my full support during this crisis, providing they move expeditiously enough. We will work in a supportive and constructive way in the interests of New Zealanders.
I have also offered the Government the services of our MPs and staff to assist where we can.
We want to do all we can to protect the lives and livelihoods of New Zealanders.
Calls to lift Alert level
In the past 24 hours I have been inundated with calls from doctors, health professionals, scientists and teachers all wanting the level to be raised.
I believe the country needs to move to Level 4 on the Covid-19 alert system and I have expressed this to Jacinda Ardern.
We won’t regret moving quickly to stop this virus spreading. We may have regrets if we don’t.
We will support the Government where we can. But we won’t always agree and we will continue to let the Government know when we don’t.
The Opposition will continue to play an important role to ensure the best decisions are being made in the interests of all New Zealanders. We won’t be campaigning for the foreseeable future, however.