Ireland's likely next PM would be first gay, minority leader

Ireland is getting its first openly gay, as well as its youngest, prime minister.

Leo Varadkar, a gay lawmaker, was elected the leader of Ireland's ruling Fine Gael party on Friday, making him the country's prime minister-elect, set to take power after the Irish parliament reconvenes in 10 days.

Varadkar, 38, will officially take over as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known in Ireland, in Parliament later this month after he was declared the victor in the leadership race for the Fine Gael party.

Having won a hard-fought contest, his first challenge will be to unite Fine Gael around his leadership, but with Brexit fast approaching, Leo Varadkar's honeymoon won't last long.

The citizens of Ireland have voted Leo Varadkar to be their new Prime Minister, garnering 60% of the votes, the BBC reported.

He had faced repeated calls to stand aside after six years in government. Mr O'Leary said the strength of Mr Varadkar's campaign underlined his ability.

Varadkar, 38, will officially take over as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known in Ireland, in Parliament later this month after he was declared the victor in the leadership race for the Fine Gael party.

Varadkar's father Ashok, also a doctor, was born in Mumbai. "I know that Leo has the capacity to provide the leadership required in order to achieve this", Kenny said. This announcement, as per Hindustan Times, jolted his father but junior Varadkar told that his father is a very supportive person and will always be by his side.


Varadkar on course to become Ireland's youngest ever Taoiseach.

Opposition MPs were quick to denounce Varadkar's election, with his constituency rival Ruth Coppinger of the left-wing Solidarity party claiming that his campaign had given people a glimpse of the kind of divisive policies Fine Gael would like to pursue.

Enda Kenny stepped down as the party leader in May, one which he held for 15 years.

Varadkar's background, both being gay and half-Indian, received a lot of attention in the build-up to the vote.

In 2015, as Minister of Health, Varadkar came out on Irish national radio, joining a handful of other openly gay politicians in Ireland in support of the Marriage Equality Bill, which allows same sex couples to marry.

Varadkar came out publicly in 2015.

Varadkar, a doctor, entered politics in 2004 when he was voted to local government, and was elected to parliament three years later.

  • Sylvester Abbott