Irish prime minister Kenny says will step down

2017-05-17 19:42
Enda Kenny (File, AFP)

Enda Kenny (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dublin - Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Wednesday said he will step down once a new leader for his Fine Gael party is elected by June 2 at the latest.

"I will retire as leader of Fine Gael effective from midnight tonight," Kenny said, opening the way for a swift leadership contest.

In a statement on his way into a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday evening, Kenny said he would continue as prime minister pending the election of his successor.

"I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity until my successor is elected," the 66-year-old said.

"I have asked that the Fine Gael executive council expedite this process and to have it concluded by close of business on Friday June 2."

Kenny is the longest-serving member of the Dail, the lower house of parliament, having first been elected in 1975.

He has led the centre-right Fine Gael party for 15 years and been prime minister since 2011.

He is the first Fine Gael leader to win re-election to office.

Two candidates 

Two candidates have so far declared an interest in becoming the next party leader and, by default, the next prime minister for the remainder of what is widely considered to be a fragile, minority government.

Leo Varadkar, 38, may appear an unlikely front-runner in what is still regarded as a socially conservative, relatively homogeneous country.

The Dublin-born son of an Indian immigrant father and Irish mother became the first overtly gay cabinet minister when he declared his sexuality in a national radio interview in 2015 and has campaigned on issues such as same-sex marriage and more liberal abortion laws.

The high-profile social protection minister practised as a doctor before winning a seat in 2007 and has rapidly risen through the ranks to hold several ministerial portfolios.

His rival Simon Coveney, 44, fits the more traditional profile of a Fine Gael leader and is steeped in politics.

He was first elected to parliament in 1998 following the death of his father who had held the Cork South-Central seat before him.

The current housing minister has also been in charge of several portfolios including agriculture and defence. He is married with three daughters.


Read more on:    ireland

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.