Ireland to Get Its Youngest Ever Premier, Simon Harris Elected Leader of Fine Gael Party

( – Simon Harris replaced Leo Varadkar as leader of the Fine Gael party after Harris was the only one willing to replace him as prime minister which the Irish call the taoiseach. Harris secured the necessary endorsements from within his party and is anticipated to be formally elected to the high office in April when the current break ends after Easter.

Harris will be the youngest-ever taoiseach at 37-years-old. Deputy leader within the Fine Gael party Simon Coveney gave comments suggesting Harris was a good leader who is capable and popular within the party.

Harris announced a commitment to maintain the current coalition government with the Green and Fianna Fail parties, but hasn’t ruled out elections later this year.

Varadkar recently returned from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America after giving a speech at the White House. Varadkar advocated for an end to the war in Gaza and brought Biden to tears by quoting his deceased son, Beau Biden, who died in 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. He unexpectedly announced his resignation upon his return.

Varadkar was taoiseach twice, the first time in 2017 through 2020. He took on the role again in December 2022 to maintain the coalition government. He’d previously been the youngest-ever taoiseach at 38-years-old when he was elected to the role the first time. He was also the first openly gay and biracial prime minister; his mother is Irish while his father is Indian.

He was a central figure in overturning the abortion ban in 2018 and helped to advance homosexual marriage legalization which was passed by a referendum in 2015.

Varadkar led Ireland during the post-Brexit period after England left the EU in 2016. The move had a number of impacts on Ireland which did not leave the EU. Relations between the two countries were strained during Boris Johnson’s tenure as British prime minister, but have become less antagonistic in the intervening years with the election of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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