Words: Steve Brown
Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has formally resigned after Fine Gael lost the general election.
During the general election earlier this month, Sinn Fein won a surprise victor but fell short of a majority with 37 seats once second preferences were taken into account.
Fine Gael – Varadkar’s party – won only 35 seats and Fianna Fail secured 38 seats but Varadkar’s party ruled out forming a coalition government with their left-wing rival.
And now, according to the Dáil Éireann publication, Varadkar – who is openly gay – has resigned as Taoiseach but said he would continue on as caretaker leader until a new one has been elected.
He said: “The responsibility is on all of us to ensure we provide good government, and indeed good opposition.
“I think the onus is on those who have made enormous promises of change to the people during this election who are entrusted with that mandate to bring a programme of government for approval.
“If they cannot, they should say so and be upfront and honest about their failures and the empty promises they made.
"The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new government has been appointed. I will likewise continue as Taoiseach until the election of that new government."
As Prime Minister, Varadkar was one of three out country leaders including Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Serbia's Ana Brnabić.