Irish PM to step down, succession contest begins

Geronimo Vena
Mag 20, 2017

Meanwhile, the party has revealed details of how Enda Kenny's successor will be chosen, with the party using an electoral college system for the first time.

"He did his country much service, and I wish him the very best in the next chapter of his life".

"I will be supporting Coveney", he said.

The Fine Gael leadership contest will begin on Thursday, with nominations closing on Saturday.

Minister for Social Protection Mr Varadkar was speaking at a press event at Dublin alongside the Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe, who publicly endorsing him earlier today.

According to the Irish Times leadership tracker, Varadkar holds 31% of the available support from the party TDs and senators, while Coveney commands just 17%.

The Leader has since learned organisers have provisionally set their sights on June 9, the week after a new Fine Gael leader is expected to be ushered in. He subsequently took up positions including minister for agriculture, defence and now housing.

Helen McEntee, another junior minister in Mr Varadkar's camp, said: "Look at the fresh new approach he has taken to politics, look at how he interacts with people, look at his vision for a more forward-thinking and open Ireland".

The prime minister leads a minority government under a deal with the opposition Fianna Fail party, which has veto power over Fine Gael's decision over who to nominate as Kenny's successor.

In a statement, Mr Kehoe said Mr Varadkar's "capacity to build a strong support base is testament to his willingness to work with party colleagues".

In distant third is Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, whose odds were at 22/1 last night.

Another senior member said: "The body language of some of his loyal supporters said it all, there were a few teary eyes".

Then they have to convince parliamentary party members they're the right person for the job.

"Last year I indicated that I would not lead the Fine Gael party into the next general election".

Mr Donohoe's support is also significant, as he is one of the most influential members of the Cabinet and has been tipped as a potential minister for finance once Michael Noonan steps down after the leadership race.

Altre relazioni OverNewsmagazine

Discuti questo articolo