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Simon Harris Becomes Ireland’s Youngest Prime Minister

Simon Harris, aged 37, has been elected as Ireland’s youngest-ever prime minister, succeeding Leo Varadkar who resigned last month. Harris, a former health and higher education minister, secured the nomination with a vote of 88-69 in parliament, garnering support from independent lawmakers, as well as his coalition partners Fianna Fail and the Green Party.

Swift Political Ascension

Harris’s rise within the Fine Gael party has been rapid. Joining its youth branch at 16, he became a county councillor at 22 and entered parliament at 24, earning him the nickname “Baby of the Dail.”

Promises and Priorities

In his acceptance speech, Harris pledged to lead with unity, collaboration, and mutual respect. He aims to reinvigorate Fine Gael by focusing on core values such as business promotion, farming, and law enforcement. Harris faces significant challenges ahead, including addressing housing and homelessness issues and criticism of asylum seeker policies.

Cabinet Reshuffle

One of Harris’s initial tasks is to select his cabinet ministers. He plans to announce a reshuffle of the Fine Gael team, aiming to balance the delight of some contenders with the disappointment of others.

Vision for Ireland

Harris intends to implement a more planned and sustainable immigration policy while combatting the rise of populism. With a focus on effective communication, he seeks to revitalize Fine Gael, which has trailed in polls ahead of upcoming local, European, and general elections.

Stepping into Varadkar’s Shoes

Harris succeeds Varadkar, who became Ireland’s youngest-ever leader at 38 and its first openly gay prime minister. Varadkar cited personal and political reasons for his resignation in March, paving the way for Harris to assume leadership.

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