Simon Harris becomes Ireland's youngest Prime Minister | Ireland

Simon Harris will become Ireland's youngest Prime Minister after the race for the leadership of his Fine Gael party ended without any other candidate.

The leadership became vacant after Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced his surprise resignation “for personal and political reasons” last week.

Harris, 37, the Higher Education Minister, was the only candidate when nominations closed at 1pm on Sunday, but he will not become prime minister until April 9 when Ireland's parliament resumes work after the Easter recess.

He will set out his leadership priorities on Sunday at a selection conference in Athlone, County Westmeath, to choose the party's candidates for the European Parliament elections in June.

Harris is expected to say he wants the centre-right Fine Gael party – which governs with fellow Conservatives Fianna Fail and the Greens – to return to core values ​​including making work tidy, being tough on law and order and supporting farmers.

Heather Humphreys, the Social Protection Minister from a rural Border constituency, is expected to be appointed deputy leader of the party.

Harris gave no indication of possible changes in Fine Gael's ministerial ranks. But there is speculation that ministers who do not intend to run in the upcoming elections will be dropped. It is widely believed that Simon Coveney will be a victim of the reshuffle.

Varadkar resigned after taking responsibility for the government's failure in recent referendums to update references to women and the family in the constitution.

Harris is widely viewed as a good communicator, especially on social media. He held a number of ministerial portfolios including health at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

See also  Local officials said that Russian missiles hit several Ukrainian cities

Although he was widely praised for his handling of the crisis, he had to apologize for what he called “terrible booing” after he incorrectly said in a radio interview that there were 18 other coronaviruses before Covid-19.

Until Varadkar's resignation, it was assumed that Ireland's next general election would be held in October after a free budget in September, but Fianna Fail and Green Party leaders say they believe the government should serve out the remaining 12 months of its term.

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are trailing Sinn Féin, the left-wing nationalist party and Ireland's main opposition, in opinion polls, but the political situation is very fluid.

Sinn Féin, once the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, is the largest party in the Northern Irish Parliament.

Poll in the Sunday Business Post Shows support The three parties backed down after referendums in which they urged all three to vote yes on the proposed changes.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald has demanded an immediate election but Harris is unlikely to grant it. He is instead expected to prioritize revitalizing his party and focusing on key concerns for voters, including housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *