19.3 C
New York

Leo Varadkar to step down as Ireland’s prime minister. Why? – National

Published:

Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday he would step down as Ireland’s prime minister and the leader of the governing Fine Gael party, in a surprise move which he said was for both personal and political reasons.

“I am resigning as president and leader of Fine Gael effective today and will resign as the Taoiseach (prime minister) as soon as my successor is able to take up that office,” Varadkar told reporters gathered outside government buildings in Dublin.

Varadkar’s departure as head of the three-party coalition does not automatically trigger a general election.

He said he had asked for a new leader of the party to be chosen on April 6, allowing a new prime minister to be elected after parliament’s Easter break.


Click to play video: 'St. Patrick’s Day: U.S. cities dye waterways green, hold parades to celebrate'


St. Patrick’s Day: U.S. cities dye waterways green, hold parades to celebrate


Sound emotional as he made the announcement, Varadkar said it was the right time for him to step down and that there was no “real reason” behind his decision.

Story continues below advertisement

“I have nothing else lined up I have nothing in mind. I have no definite personal or political plans,” he said.


The email you need for the day’s
top news stories from Canada and around the world.


The email you need for the day’s
top news stories from Canada and around the world.

In 2017, Varadkar became the first gay prime minister of the once-staunchly Catholic country and the youngest person to hold the office.

He returned to the premiership in 2022 under a rotation arrangement struck between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, the two largest parties in a three-party coalition with the smaller Green Party.

The next election must be called by early 2025.

Contenders to succeed Varadkar as Fine Gael leader include Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, who was health minister during the COVID-19 pandemic, Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney, a former deputy prime minister, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe and Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img