Ireland elects first gay Prime Minister Leo Varadkar

15 June, 2017, 02:28 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Enda Kenny Steps Down As Taoiseach

Mr Varadkar will meet the leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein in Dublin on Friday.

As Mr Kenny said his final goodbyes, it was business as usual for the Fine Gael party and its new leader, Leo Varadkar.

Leo Varadkar, the son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India, came out as gay in 2015.

"As the country's youngest holder of this office he will speak for a new generation of Irishwomen and Irishmen", Mr Kenny told the Dáil. This especially rings true for the LGBT community, which shows that anyone of us can assume national leadership roles, and becomes yet another thing to celebrate at your Pride party this month.

The new ruling Fine Gael leader won 57 votes in the Irish parliament against 50 for his nomination as premier.

I am really delighted to appoint Simon Coveney as Deputy Leader of Fine Gael and as a member of the Party's Executive Council.

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Although long-awaited, the transition of power has been relatively smooth with Leo Varadkar securing resounding support in a leadership contest, including huge backing among his parliamentary colleagues.

The Irish Times reported Varadkar then traveled to President Michael Higgins' residence to sign the warrant of office and complete the election process.

Although regarded as relatively liberal on social issues such as gender equality and abortion rights, Varadkar has been criticised by opposition parties for his right-wing economic views. Already his opponents are warning that the former health, tourism and social protection minister has plans to move the government further to the right.

Mr Varadkar will not only take over the role of taoiseach, but also its main challenges, including Brexit negotiations and restoring collapse of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Under the heightened security plans both the Gardai and the Defence Forces will see recieve more personnel who will carry out co-op counter terrorism training.

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