Home World News Outgoing Irish Prime Minister Has ‘No Regrets’ As He Formally Resigns

Outgoing Irish Prime Minister Has ‘No Regrets’ As He Formally Resigns

Outgoing Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Source: X

Irish (taoiseach) Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had “nor regrets” as he formally tendered his resignation to President Micheal D. Higgins in Dublin on Monday. The president’s wife, Sabina Higgins, was also in attendance. The formal announcement of his resignation followed his shock announcement in March when the Indian-origin and openly gay prime minister announced that he would step down. In the resignation speech he had said that he was “no longer the best man for the job.”

He had led the three-party coalition government in Dublin, along with Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

The 37-year-old Higher Education Minister Simon Harris saw his profile rise significantly when he was the country’s health minister battling the pandemic. He will still have to be ratified by the Irish Parliament. The Parliament will vote on Tuesday and Harris is expected to win the vote.

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The timing of the resignation is certainly inconvenient for Varadkar’s Fine Gael. Ireland faces local elections and European elections less than three months away. Though he was praised for his handling of referendums legalising same-sex marriage and managing relations with the UK, a loss in two major referendums proposing to change the Irish Constitution had hurt his image. This ensured his resignation which is supposed to have taken in even other party members by surprise.

Ireland has major elections – the local elections in June, the European elections at around the same time and the Irish general elections in 2025. This will leave little time for the new PM to settle in.