Varadkar v Coveney for the Fine Gael Leadership

May 22, 2017, 15:16
Varadkar v Coveney for the Fine Gael Leadership

In Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, Fine Gael will have its fittest ever leadership contenders.

Fine Gael for the first time will be electing their leader through an electoral college which consists of the following; 73 members of the Parliamentary Party (PP) accounting for 65% of the total vote, nearly 21,000 party members accounting for 25% and 235 local representatives (232 councillors and 3 Údarás na Gaeltachta members) accounting for the remaining 10% of the vote.

Mr Varadkar said it had been his idea originally to extend voting rights for the leadership of Fine Gael to all the party's elected representatives.

The Dublin-born son of an Indian immigrant father and Irish mother, Leo Varadkar became the first openly gay cabinet minister in Ireland after coming out in 2015, reports Sky News.

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A new Fine Gael leader will be announced on Friday, June 2nd.

That's despite over 60 per cent of Fine Gael's parliamentary party backing Minister Varadkar.

"We have a contest under way", he said. 'I saw at close quarters how skilled and driven he was to succeed, ' he said. "It is just part of who I am, it does not define me, it is the part of my character I suppose".

Setting out his stall, he said: "I want to take the country forward".

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Supporters of Mr Varadkar say his straight-talking manner could widen the party's appeal after Mr Kenny's steady stewardship and boost their position in the polls ahead of elections likely late next year. "I can remember that and he (The Taoiseach) changed that, he and Michael Noonan and many others who are now moving on from the political stage, by handing over to me and many others from the party and we took on the responsibility to listen to view and we will work together as a partnership to give non populous leadership in this country in the future and you know what we will be respected for that". "I'm not going to be putting people under pressure in the spotlight of the media".

There is two weeks to go in the battle to become Ireland's next Taoiseach.

Pictures of a well-padded Varadkar in his Young Fine Gael days circulated last week, but the doctor long ago swapped the beer-and-pizza student lifestyle for the gym, plus the odd triathlon.

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