Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Resigns

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar Resigns

According to reports, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland announced on Wednesday that he will step down as leader of the country.

Varadkar said he will be quitting his position as leader of the Fine Gael party as part of the coalition government currently in power, Just The News reported.

Varadkar said his reasons were “both personal and political.”

The announcement to step down comes after Varadkar suffered a major political defeat at the polls,

Varadkar was elected as Ireland’s first biracial and first openly gay prime minister.

“I’m proud that we have made the country a more equal and more modern place,” he said in a resignation statement in Dublin.

Irish voters rejected proposals backed by the prime minister to replace the constitutional reference to the makeup of a family and a mother’s “duties in the home,” in a major defeat. 

Varadkar held the vote to coincide with International Women’s Day, so he could delete some “very old-fashioned, very sexist language about women.”

One proposal would have expanded the definition of family founded on marriage to one that includes other durable relationships.

However, the proposal was rejected by 67.7% to 32.3%, according to Reuters.

Speaking to reporters in Dublin on Saturday, Varadkar said:

“It was our responsibility to convince a majority of people to vote yes, and we clearly failed to do so.”

Poltico reported:

Varadkar’s planned departure follows an exceptional run of early retirement announcements from within his Fine Gael party, which has led all of Ireland’s past three governments since 2011. Already, 10 of Fine Gael’s current 33 lawmakers have said they will not contest the next election.

Varadkar’s resignation follows a government humiliation in this month’s two-pronged referendum on removing sexist references from the country’s 87-year-old constitution. 

Voters overwhelmingly rejected both measures, with many criticizing the government’s proposed replacement texts as vague and problematic.

Varadkar said he wanted the three-party government to gain seats, not lose them, in the next election and remain in power.

“After careful consideration and some soul searching, I believe that a new Taoiseach and a new leader will be better placed than me to achieve that.’

“To renew and strengthen the team, to focus our message and policies, to drive implementation. And after seven years in office, I don’t feel I’m the best person for that job anymore.”

READ: Ireland to Transform Churches into Schools for Ukrainian Children

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