Ireland Gets new Prime Minister

Leo Varadkar, 38, son of an Indian immigrant and is the first Irish leader of Indian descent was elected as Ireland’s new Prime Minister.

Varadkar’s predecessor, Enda Kenny, announced his resignation in May after a 15-year reign as party leader.

Both Kenny and Varadkar are members of Fine Gael, a center-right party founded in 1933.

Kenny previously nominated Varadkar—who went on to secure 60 percent of the vote—as his replacement.

Varadkar was born in Dublin and studied Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. He spent several years as a junior doctor before qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010.

In 2004 he was co-opted onto Fingal County Council and served as deputy mayor before his election to Dáil Éireann.

He was promoted to the Front Bench by Enda Kenny as Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, remaining in this position until a 2010 reshuffle when he became Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Parliamentary System in Ireland:

Ireland is a parliamentary, representative democratic republic and a member state of the European Union. While the head of state is the popularly elected President of Ireland, it is a largely ceremonial position with real political power being vested in the indirectly elected Taoiseach (leader of government) who is the head of the government.

Executive power is exercised by the government which consists of no more than 15 cabinet ministers, inclusive of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste (deputy leader of government).

Legislative power is vested in the Oireachtas, the bicameral national parliament, which consists of Dáil Éireann, Seanad Éireann and the President of Ireland.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The head of the judiciary is the Chief Justice who presides over the Supreme Court.