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Indian-origin Leo Varadkar becomes Ireland's youngest PM

Leo Varadkar, 38, who came out as gay in 2015, defeated his ministerial colleague Simon Coveney in the parliamentary vote held in Dublin.

Jun 15, 2017 09:09 IST
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People from Malasar tribal community are trapped in bonded labour=Leo Varadkar, a 38-year-old Indian-origin doctor, on 15 June 2017 scripted history by becoming Ireland's youngest and the first openly gay Prime Minister of the Catholic-majority country as he promised to build a Republic of opportunity.

Varadkar, the country's first Indian-origin premier, officially took over from Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known, after a parliamentary vote in Dublin confirmed him as the leader by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstentions. Kenny was the longest serving Fine Gael Taoiseach and the first to serve two terms.

Varadkar, the former general physician, who is the son of an Irish nurse and a doctor from India, won the Fine Gael party leadership earlier this month.

Indian origin Leo Varadkar set to become next Ireland Prime Minister

He has made his leadership rival Simon Coveney the deputy leader of the party.

Addressing the Dail, the Irish parliament, after his election, Varadkar said, he has been elected to lead but he promises to serve.
He then travelled to the president's residence, Aras an Uachtarain, where President Michael D Higgins gave him the seals of office to officially confirm his appointment.

Who is Leo Varadkar?

• Varadkar came out as a gay man in 2015 when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through popular vote. His partner, Matthew Barrett, is also a doctor.

• He was first elected as a councillor at the age of 24 and took a seat in the Dáil in 2007.

• In 2011, Fine Gael appointed Varadkar as the minister for transport, tourism and sport - and then health minister.

• More recently he has overseen Ireland's welfare system.

• Politically, his views are regarded as a centre-right due to his approach to socio-economic issues.

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