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Simon Harris Set to Become Youngest Ever Irish Prime Minister

LONDON (AP) – Ireland is set to get its youngest-ever prime minister after Simon Harris secured the Fine Gael leadership on Sunday, replacing Leo Varadkar, who abruptly announced his resignation last week. is completed.

Mr Harris, 37, is the government’s higher education minister and was the only candidate to succeed Mr Varadkar, who was Ireland’s youngest prime minister, or what is known in Ireland as Taoist.

Harris has won a series of endorsements from within the Fine Gael parliamentary party and is expected to be officially elected prime minister by the Irish parliament in April, when MPs return from the Easter break.

Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney said: “I think he’s done a really good job in securing leadership in as inclusive a way as he has.”

Ms Harris said she remained fully committed to the government program agreed with coalition partners Fianna Fail and the Green Party. She stopped short of ruling out the possibility of a general election this year, but she insisted that such polls were not her priority.

Mr Varadkar, 45, served as party leader twice between 2017 and 2020 and will serve another term from December 2022 as part of a job-sharing arrangement with coalition partner Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin. Ta.

He was the country’s youngest leader, first elected at the age of 38, and was Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister. Mr Varadkar, whose mother was Irish and his father Indian, was also Ireland’s first biracial Taoist.

He played a leading role in the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage, approved in a referendum in 2015, and repeal anti-abortion laws passed in a 2018 referendum.

He led Ireland in the years following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in 2016. Leaving the EU had a major impact on Ireland, an EU member state that shares a border with the UK’s Northern Ireland. Relations between Britain and Ireland were strained when Britain was led by die-hard Brexiteer Boris Johnson, but have stabilized since Rishi Sunak took office as prime minister.