Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party choose Leo Varadkar as its new leader on Friday. Varadkar is a 38 years old gay man who is the son of an Indian immigrant; such a candidate shows the country’s fast social change.
Varadkar will succeed Enda Kenny as he won the majority of the center-right party’s politicians who wish that Varadkar can get them a third consecutive term for the first time.
An Openly Gay Prime Minister?
Varadkar will be voted in as PM when parliament sits on June 13 to become first gay PM and the youngest candidate ever.
“If my election today shows anything, it is that prejudice has no hold in this Republic,” Varadkar said. “I know when my father travelled 5,000 miles to build a new home in Ireland, I doubt that he ever dreamed that one day his son would grow up to be its leader and despite his differences, his son would be judged by his actions not his identity.
“Every proud parent in Ireland today can dream big dreams for their children,” Varadkar added.
Rapid Social Change
Ireland has been witnessing a major social change since 1993 when the country discriminated homosexuality. On the other hand, in 2015, it became the first nation to agree and allow on gay marriage after voting on it.
Aside from being gay, the social change lies in electing a man with Indian roots. Varadkar’s father, Ashok, was born in Mumbai in India while Varadkar’s mother, Miriam, is English.
66 year old Kenny was the leader of the party for 15. In addition to being a Prime Minister for 6 years since 2011. 42 year old Paschal Donohoe is predicted to be promoted to finance minister, substituting the retiring Michael Noonan.