Leader of Australia’s Victoria state resigns - GulfToday

Leader of Australia’s Victoria state resigns


Dan Andrews

The leader of the Australian state of Victoria resigned unexpectedly Tuesday after nine years that included battling the Covid-19 pandemic, declaring: "It's not an easy job".

"Thoughts of what life will be like after this job have started to creep in," said Premier Dan Andrews, who led the state's centre-left Labor party for 13 years.

"I have always known that the moment that happens, it is time to go and give this privilege, this amazing responsibility, to someone else," he told a news conference.

"It is not an easy job being premier of our state -- that is not a complaint, that is just fact."

Andrews was at the helm during the Covid-19 pandemic years, overseeing a series of strict lockdowns in the state capital Melbourne.

The city's five million residents spent more than 260 days confined to their homes.

Frustration over that and the state's vaccine mandates led to violent protests in 2021.

Andrews' popularity fell to a two-year low last month but he remained slightly ahead of the state's conservative opposition Liberal Party leader John Pesutto, a survey by Resolve Political Monitor for The Age newspaper indicated.

The premier said his job required 100 percent commitment "from you and your family".

"That, of course, is time-limited and now is the time to step away."

Asked about his legacy, Andrews told reporters: "It will be for others to judge my time in parliament and my years of leadership."

The premier said he would officially step down at 5:00 pm (0700 GMT) Wednesday and a replacement would be chosen by the party caucus earlier the same day.

Agence France-Presse

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