Irish Prime Minister Kenny to Step Down

May 18, 2017, 00:35
Irish Prime Minister Kenny to Step Down

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced his plans to step down as leader of his party, Fine Gael.

Mr Kenny will continue to perform his duties as Fine Gael leader in an acting capacity until a successor is appointed on 2 June.

In a statement, Enda Kenny revealed he will "retire as leader from midnight tonight 17th May 2017".

"I would like to stress the huge honour and privilege that it has been for me to lead our party for the past 15 years, in opposition and into government on two successive occasions", he said.

The Taoiseach has triggered the leadership contest to replace him at his parliamentary party this evening.

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Kenny has overseen Ireland's dramatic turnaround from entering a humiliating three-year state bailout months before he came to power to becoming Europe's fastest-growing economy for the past three years. I saw at close quarters how skilled and driven he was to succeed for our Party, in Government and for our Country. The former refers to the way Coveney has raised his profile by trying to tackle a severe housing and homelessness crisis.

The race is set to be dominated the two declared candidates: Varadkar, 38, and Coveney, 44.

"On behalf of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, I would like to thank Enda Kenny for his remarkable service to our country and our Party".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stated that he wants to accompany Enterprise Ireland on a trip to the U.S. next month, adding fuel to the ever-burning fire about his resignation as leader.

His replacement will lead Ireland during complex divorce negotiations between Britain and the EU.

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