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Ireland PM "NRI Leo Varadkar" Announces Unexpected Resignation


Los Angeles/ Mar 20, 2024 Singh

Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland, has announced his resignation, citing a combination of personal and political factors, primarily the latter. Varadkar made the surprise announcement while flanked by colleagues outside government buildings in Dublin. He expressed feeling that he was no longer the most suitable candidate for the position and stated his intention to remain as prime minister until a successor is elected after parliament returns from recess next month.

Varadkar, who first assumed office in 2017 after being elected leader of the Fine Gael party, holds the distinction of being the country's youngest premier and Ireland's first gay leader. In his resignation statement, he confirmed stepping down as president of the party and leader of Fine Gael, effective immediately. He pledged to resign as Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) as soon as his successor is prepared to assume office.

While acknowledging that his decision might come as a surprise to many and a disappointment to some, Varadkar asserted that it was made with the best interests of the country in mind. Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister, Micheál Martin, leader of coalition partner Fianna Fáil, characterized Varadkar's resignation as an "unprecedented" development but affirmed his entitlement to make such a decision.

Following Varadkar's resignation, a leadership contest within the Fine Gael party will ensue to select his replacement ahead of the party conference scheduled for April 6. Although the government is obligated to hold another general election before May 2025, Varadkar did not disclose any plans for such an eventuality in his departure speech.

Varadkar's first term as prime minister concluded in 2020 after a general election yielded no majority for any single party. Subsequently, Fine Gael entered into a coalition with the Fianna Fáil party, resulting in Varadkar and Micheál Martin swapping the roles of prime minister and deputy. Varadkar resumed his position as Taoiseach in December 2022.

The announcement of Varadkar's resignation comes shortly after his high-profile trip to Washington DC, during which he confronted President Joe Biden over the US response to the conflict in Gaza. Additionally, Varadkar has been contending with various controversies at home, including the loss of two referenda on March 9 aimed at amending what his government deemed as "sexist" language in the constitution.


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