Irish parliament to confirm Simon Harris as new PM

Irish parliament to confirm Simon Harris as new PM
Irish parliament to confirm Simon Harris as new PM

Hello and welcome to the details of Irish parliament to confirm Simon Harris as new PM and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Harris will become Ireland’s youngest ever 'taoiseach' — a Gaelic word for 'chieftain' or 'leader' pronounced 'tee-shock' — beating Varadkar who was 38 when he took the role in 2017. — AFP pic

DUBLIN, April 9 — Simon Harris will be formally appointed as Ireland’s prime minister by parliament today, replacing Leo Varadkar after he abruptly quit last month citing personal and political reasons.

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The centre-right Fine Gael party — part of a three-party governing coalition — selected the 37-year-old Harris as leader following an uncontested election after Varadkar’s resignation.

Pledging to re-energise and “reset” his party, Harris told a weekend conference of its members that he plans to steer it back towards “core values” like promoting business, farming, and law and order.

Harris will become Ireland’s youngest ever “taoiseach” — a Gaelic word for “chieftain” or “leader” pronounced “tee-shock” — beating Varadkar who was 38 when he took the role in 2017.

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Varadkar, who was in his second stint as prime minister and at 45 still one of Europe’s youngest leaders, said he felt he was no longer the “best person” to lead the country.

“Politicians are human beings. We have our limitations,” he said in a March 20 statement in Dublin, surrounded by his Fine Gael cabinet colleagues.

“We give it everything until we can’t anymore and then we have to move on,” he added.

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Harris’ crowning as prime minister caps a meteoric political rise.

He joined the youth branch of Fine Gael at the age of 16 and quickly rose through its ranks.

A county councillor aged 22, he was elected to parliament as a 24-year-old in 2011 — at the time the youngest MP and nicknamed “Baby of the Dail” (Irish parliament).

He was appointed health minister in 2016 aged just 29, and was higher education minister since 2020, with even critics conceding he is a talented communicator.

Harris’s prominence on social media, especially TikTok, has made him one of the most visible politicians in Ireland.

The new taoiseach will face a formidable to-do list, including tackling housing and homelessness crises amid criticism of government policy on asylum seekers.

With a reputation for slick communication skills, Harris will also urgently seek to galvanise his struggling party which lags in polls as key elections loom.

Ireland votes in local and European parliament ballots on June 7, while the next general election must be held by March 2025.

Fine Gael slumped to third place at the last general election in 2020, well behind leftist-nationalists Sinn Fein — the former political wing of the paramilitary IRA — which secured the largest share of the vote.

Having remained outside the governing coalition, it still leads in the polls. — AFP

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