Varadkar to step down as Irish prime minister and party leader

Varadkar to step down as Irish prime minister and party leader
Varadkar to step down as Irish prime minister and party leader

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Varadkar to step down as Irish prime minister and party leader in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - DUBLIN — The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar will step down as party leader immediately and will resign as Taoiseach as soon as his Fine Gael successor is selected.

Announcing his resignation, Varadkar described leading his country as "the most fulfilling time of my life".

He became Ireland's youngest PM in 2017 when he became Fine Gael leader. He currently leads the coalition government in Dublin, along with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

Speaking from the steps of government buildings in Dublin on Wednesday, Varadkar said he had "led Ireland from unemployment to full employment, from budget deficit to budget surplus, from austerity to prosperity".

Varadkar added that he was "proud that we have made the country a more equal and more modern place when it comes to the rights of children, the LGBT community, equality for women and their bodily autonomy".

During his time as Taoiseach Varadkar oversaw referendums to change the Irish constitution which legalized same-sex marriage and abortion.

Varadkar also listed work to improve the affordability of childcare among his achievements as well as increasing government spending on arts and culture, international development, and public infrastructure.

He also conceded that "there are areas where we have been much less successful", adding: "I hope you'll forgive me if I leave it to others to point them out on a day like this."

Varadkar said his reasons for stepping down were "both personal and political".

He said that he felt that the current government "could be re-elected" but he did not feel he was the "best person for the job anymore".

In the Irish general election of 2020 Varadkar led his party to a third-place finish in terms of number of seats in Dáil Éireann, the lower house in the country's parliament.

As part of the coalition deal struck between the parties it was agreed that Varadkar and Micheál Martin would hold the position of Taoiseach for two years each.

In 2020 Martin was appointed Taoiseach with Varadkar serving as his tánaiste (deputy PM), before the two swapped roles in 2022.

Speaking after Varadkar's resignation announcement, Martin said he was "surprised" by the decision.

"I want to take the opportunity to thank him sincerely, we got on very well," Martin added.

Martin said he remained committed to fulfilling the full term of the coalition government.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wished Leo Varadkar well following his resignation.

A spokesperson for the PM said he would "work closely with him and his successor".

The spokesperson added: "Ireland is a vital partner of the UK." — BBC

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