Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Irish PM Enda Kenny to step down, replacement unclear

Irish PM Enda Kenny to step down, replacement unclear

Enda Kenny, the Irish Taoiseach, is stepping down as party leader, he announced in a statement on his Twitter account Wednesday.

As to the future Cllr Mulhall said the party has "two good candidates" in Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney and there was talk of a third candidate.

Kenny's successor as party leader is set to be elected on June 2 and Noonan may still oversee the flotation of Allied Irish Banks, which he said could happen in the coming weeks, another landmark in the banking sector recovery.

He said it had been a "huge honor and lead our party for the past 15 years, in opposition and into government on two successive occasions".

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he does not wish to be considered for a position in the Cabinet by Enda Kenny's successor.

BoyleSports can report support for Simon Coveney on Thursday morning and as a result, the Cork native is now 6/4 from 7/4 to be the new Fine Gael leader. The emotional politician asked, "Is it ok if I go now?" as he slipped out of the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting within minutes of announcing his resignation. An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Minister Richard Bruton have both refused to rule themselves out to date.

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Fine Gael lawmakers and councillors make up 75 percent of the vote, with ordinary members accounting for the balance.

"I want to assure people that throughout this internal process, I will continue to carry out my duties and responsibilities as Taoiseach in full", he added.

He announced previous year that he would not lead Fine Gael into another election but has delayed his resignation several times in recent weeks amid discussions about Brexit in Brussels.

The latter alludes to Varadkar's plain-speaking manner, which supporters say could widen the party's appeal.

However, Mr Coveney is expected to hold a press conference in Dublin today to formally signal his intent, while Mr Varadkar is likely to follow suit.

Kenny had campaigned against Brexit - Britain's move to leave the European Union - saying it would create "serious difficulties" for Northern Ireland and border areas. Thanks to Enda Kenny, Fine Gael has an abundance of talented representatives, who have an ever increasing experience of governing.

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