FG leadership: Barrett backs Coveney, Deasy backs Varadkar

Anita Tucker
May 20, 2017

Kenny has asked for a new party leader to be selected, through the Fine Gael leadership election process, by close of business on Friday, June 2.

In a statement on his way into a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday evening, Kenny said he would continue as prime minister pending the election of his successor.

"While over the years we have had our differences on many political and policy issues, I have always appreciated Enda's decency, good humour and approachability", he said.

It's also expected that Chief Whip Regina Doherty will announce her support for the Social Protection Minister later.

Roscommon Senator Frank Feighan said he would be supporting Minister Varadkar.

Formal announcements are expected imminently from Mr Coveney and Mr Leo Varadkar to confirm that they will contest the race, which has already been going on behind the scenes.

Mr Varadkar has already secured the public endorsements of around 35 members of the parliamentary party.

A new leader to be announced after an electoral college of the parliamentary party, county councillors and party members have their say.

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"Leo was in Donegal for two days last week but he is no stranger to Donegal", said McHugh, who is Minister for the Diaspora and International Development. "Having inherited a country and an economy that was decimated by mismanagement, Enda's strong leadership and ability to make hard decisions was recognised both at home and overseas and saw our global reputation restored and strengthened", she said.

He said that Minister Varadkar has a "vision of a resilient and competitive economy" that can support a fairer Ireland.

Rank-and-file members are allocated 25 percent and councilors 10 percent.

From Thursday to Sunday next week, there will be four regional debates or hustings - in Dublin, Carlow, Ballinasloe and Cork.

Mr Coveney set out his stall for the leadership during his first interview of the campaign on RTÉ's Prime Time last night.

Kenny also said it had been a "huge honor and privilege" for him to have led the party for the past 15 years.

He subsequently became the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to be elected to a second consecutive term on 6 May 2016, after two months of negotiations following the 2016 election, forming a Fine Gael-led minority government.

Mr Kenny delayed his resignation on a number of occasions this year.

Other reports by My Hot News

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