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       Leo Varadkar becomes first Indian-origin Irish PM
 
         Posted on :17:54:21 Jun 15, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:17:54:21 Jun 15, 2017
         Tags: Leo Varadkar becomes Irish PM
 

MUMBAI: After Leo Varadkar, an openly gay Irish minister of Indian-origin, has been officially elected as the country's youngest Prime Minister, his family is beaming with pride.

"When I came to know that my younger brother's son is elected as Prime Minister of Ireland, I was so happy that a boy of 38 years old becomes the Prime Minister of any country," Leo's Uncle Manohar Varadkar, who is also a freedom fighter, said.

"I feel Leo has always faced challenges and he has won over all the difficulties and same thing he will be doing in his political career and future also," Leo's cousin, Shubhada Varadkar, said.

Describing how a young Leo was always interested in politics, his uncle, Avinash Varadkar, told reporters that once when he visited Leo's family in Ireland back in 1998, even then as a child, Leo talked about politics.

"We are happy that he is a member of our family who is going to script history and become the world's youngest prime minister. Our wishes are with him," Shubhada Varadkar told reporters.

38-year old Leo Varadkar was formally elected Taoiseach - Prime Minister of Ireland - at a confirmation ceremony in the Dail in Dublin after he won the Fine Gael party leadership earlier this month.

Varadkar will succeed Enda Kenny, who stepped down in May, following his involvement in a corruption scandal.

Varadkar born in Dublin in 1979, is the son of an Irish Catholic nurse from County Waterford and a Hindu doctor from Mumbai.

His parents met in England in the 1960s and lived in India for a time before moving to Ireland, according to the Guardian.

As the next leader, he faces a number of challenges as he takes over the only EU country that has a land border with the UK as it prepares for Brexit.

Abortion will be another big issue for Varadkar, specifically demands for a referendum on the future of the eighth amendment of Ireland's constitution.

In his first speech as Taoiseach, Varadkar told the Dail, the Irish Parliament, "The UK has been through some terrible tragedies over the past few weeks so we offer them our sympathy and solidarity."

He vowed to approach the job as Taoiseach with "profound humility and respect for what has gone before."

Varadkar becomes the EU's youngest national leader with Jüri Ratas, the 38-year-old Estonian Prime Minister and Emmanuel Macron, 39 of France, joining him as a trio under 40.

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