DUBLIN (Diya TV) — Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has announced his resignation, citing a mix of personal and political reasons in a surprising move. Standing alongside colleagues outside government buildings in Dublin on Wednesday, Varadkar stated that he no longer feels he is the “best man” for the job. He expressed his intention to continue serving as prime minister until a successor is elected after parliament returns from recess next month.

Varadkar, who first assumed office in 2017 after being elected leader of the Fine Gael party, is Ireland’s youngest premier and its first openly gay leader. He was also the first Irish leader of Indian descent. “I am resigning as president [of the party] and leader of Fine Gael effective today, and will resign as taoiseach [Irish prime minister] as soon as my successor is able to take up that office,” Varadkar announced.

Acknowledging that his decision might come as a surprise to many, Varadkar emphasized that it was made with the best interests of the country in mind. Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin, leader of the coalition partner Fianna Fáil, described Varadkar’s resignation as “unexpected” but stated confidence in the government’s ability to complete its term.

Varadkar’s departure will trigger a leadership contest within his party, with the goal of selecting a new leader before the party conference scheduled for April 6. Although a general election is not required until May 2025, Varadkar did not indicate any plans for early elections in his resignation speech.

During his tenure, Varadkar faced various challenges, including a housing crisis, immigration issues, and criticism over his government’s handling of social issues. However, he also spearheaded efforts to modernize Ireland, particularly in areas such as abortion rights and LGBTQ+ equality.

As the news of Varadkar’s resignation spreads, speculation mounts regarding potential successors for the prime ministerial role. Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee are among those mentioned as potential candidates, while Minister for Trade Simon Coveney has ruled himself out.