Thursday, June 22, 2017 | ePaper

Indian-origin Leo Varadkar elected Ireland`s PM

  • Print


Reuters, Dublin :
Leo Varadkar was elected Irish Prime Minister on Wednesday, making the 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant the first gay premier of the once-staunchly Catholic country and the youngest person to hold the office.
Despite inheriting Europe's fastest-growing economy, he will face immediate challenges in the shape of neighbouring Britain's exit from the European Union, a political crisis in Northern Ireland and a housing crisis at home.
Varadkar succeeded Enda Kenny earlier this month as leader of the Fine Gael party. Colleagues pinned their hopes of an unprecedented third term on the straight-talking Varadkar, who they believe can widen their appeal in elections that may be triggered as soon as next year.
"Enda Kenny's leadership enabled me to become an equal citizen in my own country two short years ago and to aspire to hold this office, an aspiration I once thought was beyond my reach, at least if I chose to be myself," Varadkar said in reference to Ireland's 2015 vote to legalise gay marriage.
"The government I lead will not be one of left or right. The government I lead will be one of the new European centre as we seek to build a Republic of opportunity, that is a Republic in which every citizen gets a fair go and in which every part of the country stands to share in our prosperity."
Varadkar's elevation marks another chapter in the social change that has swept through the country of 4.6 million people that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 and legalised divorce two years later.
"As the country's youngest holder of this office, he speaks for a new generation of Irish women and Irish men, he represents a modern, diverse and inclusive Ireland and speaks for them like no other," Kenny told parliament, nominating his successor.
However it is his policies that will attract more scrutiny at home with opponents warning that the former health, tourism and social protection minister, who first joined the centre-right party aged 17, would nudge it further to the right.

More News For this Category

Macron adds new faces to Cabinet after losing 4 ministers

Macron adds new faces to Cabinet after losing 4 ministers

AP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron brought several little-known figures into his government Wednesday as part of a reshuffle after corruption scandals started tarnishing his young Cabinet.Macron had planned

Turkey sends first cargo ship with aid for Qatar

Turkey sends first cargo ship with aid for Qatar

AFP, Istanbul :Turkey on Thursday sent its first ship loaded with aid for its embattled regional ally Qatar which has been hit by sanctions from Gulf powers led by

Trump's approval rating plunges to new low in latest poll

Trump's approval rating plunges to new low in latest poll

The Independent :Donald Trump's handling of the Russia investigation has pushed him towards an even lower approval rating, a new poll has found.A CBS survey of more than 1,000

News In Brief

Russia cancels US meeting over Ukraine sanctionsAFP, Washington Russia has canceled a meeting with senior US diplomats in the wake of Washington's decision to reinforce sanctions imposed over its

In high-level talks, US asks China to do more to rein in North Korea

In high-level talks, US asks China to do more to rein in North Korea

Reuters, Washington :The United States pressed China on Wednesday to exert more diplomatic and economic pressure to help rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs during a round

India eyes breakthrough on US surveillance drones ahead of Modi trip

India eyes breakthrough on US surveillance drones ahead of Modi trip

Reuters, New Delhi :India is pushing for U.S. approval of its request to buy a naval variant of the Predator drone, officials said, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries

State Department chastises Saudi Arabia, UAE over Qatar

State Department chastises Saudi Arabia, UAE over Qatar

 The Washington Post :The State Department issued an unusual public warning to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday over a diplomatic rift with fellow U.S. ally

US will be replaced if it disengages from world: UN chief

US will be replaced if it disengages from world: UN chief

AP, United Nations :Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that if the United States disengages from many issues confronting the international community it will be replaced

New York outlaws child marriage under 17

New York outlaws child marriage under 17

AP, New York : New York, the fourth most populous state in America, updated antiquated legislation on Tuesday to outlaw children as young as 14 from getting married.Governor Andrew Cuomo,

Iraqi forces advance on Mosul mosque where IS declared caliphate

Iraqi forces advance on Mosul mosque where IS declared caliphate

Reuters, Mosul :U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on Wednesday began a push towards the mosque in Mosul where Islamic State declared a self-styled caliphate three years ago, military officials said.The forces