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leo out

Leo Varadkar expects new Taoiseach to be in place on 9 April, avoiding need for general election

Varadkar says he will remain as Taoiseach until a successor is chosen.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has confirmed that he’s stepping down as Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader

His resignation as Fine Gael leader is effective immediately but he has said he will resign as Taoiseach “as soon as my successor is able to take up that office”. 

The timeline provided by Varadkar is that a new leader could be selected by Fine Gael party members before the party’s Ard Fheis on 6 April. 

This would mean that, in theory, Fine Gael could propose a Taoiseach after the Dáil resumes following the Easter recess on 9 April. 

Should the party’s coalition colleagues in Fianna Fáil and the Green Party support this nomination in a Dáil vote, there would be no need for a general election. 

Varadkar said during his speech that “all three parties, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens, and the Oireachtas will continue to work hard for the nation’s best interests.”

Speaking after Varadkar’s announcement, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he expects the current government to go “the full term”. 

Martin said that what has happened is “unprecedented in many ways” but in his view their is a clear mandate and programme for government.

“The government has done well,” he said. 

Due to the five-year term limits after the current Dáil met for the first time on 20 February 2020, a general election can be held no later than early next year. 

Despite this, there have already been several calls for an election to take place with Paul Murphy TD tweeting that “the people should have the right to decide” the next Taoiseach.

Speaking on RTÉ News, Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns TD also said that a general election was required saying that “the writing is on the wall for this government”. 

Labour leader Ivana Bacik endorsed these views, saying:  “What we need is a change of government, not a change of Taoiseach.”

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