This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
In politics in Ireland
As PM of Ireland
A doctor of Indian-origin and Ireland's first openly gay minister has emerged as the frontrunner in the country's prime ministerial race.
Leo Varadkar, 38, the Dublin-born son of a Mumbai-born father and Irish mother, is expected to become Ireland's first homosexual prime minister.
Varadkar, who is Ireland's welfare minister, has won early support for his leadership bid from several senior Cabinet members and a majority of his parliamentary colleagues have publicly backed him. He announced his candidacy after PM Enda Kenny announced his resignation, a title referred to as Taoiseach in Ireland. Varadkar faces housing minister Simon Coveney in the race as nominations closed for the leadership of the governing Fine Gael party this week. “I am not counting my chickens. I am really humbled at the level of support I have received from my colleagues and I am really looking forward to the hustings and the debates,“ he said. Kenny's successor is due to be elected by June 2 and Ireland's parliament is set to vote in the new leader a few days later.
The minister has campaigned for same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws. He worked as a general practitioner (GP) before winning a seat in the parliament in 2007 and has rapidly risen through the party ranks, holding several portfolios including minister for social protection and minister for transport, tourism and sports.
Became PM of Ireland in June 2017 38-year-old gay son of Indian immigrant chosen Ireland PM, June 3, 2017: The Times of India
Ireland's governing Fine Gael party elected Leo Varadkar as its new leader, choosing the gay, 38-year-old son of an Indian immigrant to succeed Enda Kenny as prime minister, in a striking sign of the once-staunchly Catholic country's rapid social change.
Varadkar overcame colleague Simon Coveney , as expected, winning an overwhelming majority among the centre-right party's lawmakers, who hope the straight-talking Dubliner can lead them to an unprecedented third successive term.
Apart from an unexpected development, Varadkar will be voted in as PM when parliament next sits on June 13 and become Ireland's first openly gay PM and the youngest ever to hold the office.
His election marks a chapter in the social change sweeping through Ireland which decriminalised homosexuality only in 1993 but beca me the first country to legalise gay marriage in 2015. Varadkar's father Ashok, who like his son is a doctor, was born in Mumbai. He met his wife, Miriam, an Irish nurse, in England before moving to Ireland where Varadkar was born. AGENCIES Ireland's new Prime Mini ster-in-waiting Leo Var adkar came out as gay in 2015, becoming the first openly gay cabinet member in Ireland. In a coming-out speech he gave in a radio interview, he had said, “It's not something that defines me.I'm not a half-Indian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician for that matter. It's just part of who I am, it doesn't define me, it is part of my character I suppose.“
His family originates from Varad, a village in Gujarat, and Varadkar kept his Indian connect alive, completing an internship at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. His partner, Matthew Barrett, is also a doctor.“Matt is just a very special person. Someone who is unconditionally on my side, which is always great. He is the kind of person who has made me a better person,“ Varadkar recently said.
Ireland decriminalised homosexuality in 1993 and introduced divorce two years later. It became the first country to adopt gay marriage via a popular vote in 2015.
Varadkar has campaigned for same-sex marriage and liberalising abortion laws. He worked as a general practitio ner before winning a seat in parliament in 2007 and has rapidly risen through the party ranks, holding several ministerial portfolios including minister for social protection and minister for transport, tourism and sports.
Fine Gael is Ireland's centre-right political party, seen as taking liberal positions on several social and economic issues. Varadkar was campaigning on a platform of reducing child poverty and educational disadvantage as key policy areas.