Ireland′s Leo Varadkar paves way for fresh elections | News | DW | 12.01.2020
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Ireland's Leo Varadkar paves way for fresh elections

The Taoiseach has said he would consult with his Cabinet before announcing a date. But lawmakers and media outlets have suggested that the country could head to the polls as early as February 7, just days after Brexit.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Sunday announced plans for fresh elections but stopped short of setting a date.

"I have made a decision but there is some respective protocol around this, so I would like to speak to the Cabinet and the leader of the opposition," Varadkar told Irish broadcaster RTE. "The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday and the Dail (the lower house of parliament) will reconvene on Wednesday."

'Circumstances changed'

The Taoiseach, or prime minister and head of government, said he had initially wanted to have the vote in the summer.

"I have to acknowledge that circumstances have changed," Varadkar said. "We have a deal on Brexit and in many ways that was the big job of this government, our magnum opus, to secure a deal on Brexit."

Read more: At Irish border, Brexit evokes history of violence

Ireland's prime minister, Leo Varadkar, waves as he meets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Dublin, Ireland

Varadkar (right) said his government had effectively completed its mission on securing a Brexit deal

Post-Brexit vote

Media outlets and lawmakers, including independent Michael Lowry, suggested that elections would now take place on February 7, days after the UK is due to exit the EU and begin a yearlong transition period out of the bloc.

Varadkar's conservative Fine Gale has led a minority government since 2016 after junior coalition partner Fianna Fail said it would extend a three-year cooperation deal to 2020.

Read more: Irish whiskey renaissance: The 'water of life' flows again

ls/rc (Reuters, AFP)

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