Irish parliament elects new prime minister
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 14:53
And Ireland is to have its youngest and first openly gay Taoiseach as after a marathon election process saw Leo Varadkar elected the party's new leader.
The 66-year-old former teacher, born in west Ireland's County Mayo, is the longest serving member of Irish parliament, having first been elected in 1975.
Now after winning the vote, many will hope the leader will bring his promises to light.
Despite Varadkar's firsts, Irish media and voters are "not obsessed about his sexuality or his racial origins", The Guardian's Henry McDonald tells NPR's Ari Shapiro.
Kenny has been taoiseach since 2011 and leader of Fine Gael (United Ireland Party) since 2002. 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.
Mr Varadkar has appointed his leadership rival Simon Coveney as deputy leader of Fine Gael.
"While it might be a milestone for me personally, in the context of the country that's irrelevant", he said. "It's just part of who I am, it doesn't define me, it is part of my character I suppose".
His partner, Matthew Barrett, works as a doctor and have been together since 2015.
Not only campaigning for same-sex marriage, he has also worked in liberalising abortion laws.
It has also been confirmed that Mr Varadkar's Department of Social Protection will be "beefed up" to have increased so-called job activation functions.
He will announce his Cabinet later in the evening, Politico reported.
Varadkar wants the United Kingdom -controlled region of Northern Ireland to remain in the European Union, easing economic and border security concerns over Brexit, which he has said appears more likely following last week's British election.
The veteran Fine Gael politician is to host a cabinet meeting for the final time in Government Buildings in Dublin before he takes to the Dail parliament for a valedictory address.