New Zealand Prime Minister John Key surprised his country, announcing that he would be resigning in a week's time. Key, who is also leader of the National Party, made his decision public at a press conference on Monday local time.
Sometimes you've got to make hard decisions to make right decisions, Key told reporters. This is the hardest decision I've ever made, and I don't know what I'll do next.
Key has served eight years as New Zealand's prime minister — and, according to local media, he was one of the most popular prime ministers in New Zealand's history. He won his third term in office in September 2014.
At his press conference, Key said that it was the right time to step down, noting that he made his decision after a pretty long discussion with his wife. On a family basis, said the father of two, I don't think I could commit much longer than the next election.
Now, attention turns to who will replace Key at the top of his party and his country's government. Key threw his support behind Bill English, his deputy prime minister and minister of finance. The matter will be decided at a National Party caucus on Dec. 12, the same date Key has said he will formally step down.