Simon Harris to be Ireland’s last PM after taking party leadership | Political Affairs

Harris will be elected Ireland’s first prime minister when parliament sits on April 9.

Simon Harris is set to become Ireland’s first ever prime minister after being appointed as the new leader of the ruling Fine Gael party.

The 37-year-old said it was the “real honor of my life” to be elected party leader on Sunday, replacing Leo Varadkar, who resigned unexpectedly On Wednesday, he said that the party will be well managed by another leader.

Harris will be voted in as the first prime minister of the Republic of Ireland – known as the taoiseach – when the country’s parliament, or Oireachtas, sits on April 9 thanks to the support of his coalition partners Fine Gael.

“I think he’s done a very good job of securing the leadership in as many ways as he has,” Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney said.

Harris told members of the central party that he would repay their faith with “hard work, blood, sweat and tears, day after day and duty, with humility and justice”.

Outlining his priorities, Harris insisted that Fine Gael “stands for law and order” and told members he wanted to “take back our flag” from the nationalists, so they could be more excited.

He also said that he would follow a “planned and sustainable” plan for refugees, following the growing debate on the issue, and that he would “fight against the dangers of populism”.

On the international side, he called for a ceasefire in Gaza and condemned “Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine”.

He does not have more than a year to save the union from being defeated in the general election.

In the last three years, elections have been held Sinn Feina left-wing party that supports a union with Northern Ireland, a British territory, as the preferred choice to lead the next government.

However, two more polls on Sunday confirmed that Sinn Fein’s current support is down from 12-18 months ago.

A Business Post/Red C survey has already been conducted Varadkar’The taoiseach’s departure put Sinn Fein ahead of Fine Gael on six percentage points, while the Irish Independent/Ireland Thinks poll showed five points.

Harris, a former minister for education, research and science, is best known for Ireland’s response to COVID-19.

He said recently that he entered politics as an “ideal, shy teenager” troubled by his autistic brother’s lack of education.

Although he spent many of his senior years in parliament, Harris described himself as an “accidental politician”.

His online presence prompted one opponent in the Oireachtas to call Harris the “TikTok taoiseach”.

While the economy has grown significantly under Varadkar, successive governments, including Harris, have struggled with a decade-long housing crisis and, more recently, pressure from an influx of immigrants and refugees.

Entering a three-party government that operates according to an agreed agenda will not give the incoming leader much room for action.

Before Harris, Varadkar was the country’s youngest leader when he was first elected at 38, and Ireland’s first openly gay Prime Minister.

His mother is Irish and his father is Indian, making Varadkar Ireland’s first bi-racial.

Varadkar, 45, had two terms as taoiseach – between 2017 and 2020, and from December 2022 as part of a job sharing with Micheal Martin, head of the Fianna Fail coalition.

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