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Leo Varadkar becomes Ireland’s PM

Ireland has a new taoiseach (prime minister), Leo Varadkar, who replaces Micheál Martin.

Mr Varadkar was elected by 87 TDs in the Dáil (Irish Parliament), while 62 voted against his nomination.

Mr Varadkar succeeds Mr Martin as Prime Minister, while Mr Martin continues in his role as Tánaiste (deputy prime minister).

As Simon Coveney moves to the Department of Enterprise, Mr Martin will also be the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The rotation of power between the Irish parties was laid down in the coalition agreement of June 2020.

The deal brought together Mr Varadkar’s Fine Gael party, Mr Martin’s Fianna Fáil and the Green Party in a historic compromise.

Mr Varadkar, a qualified medical doctor, previously served as taoiseach and Minister of Defence from 2017 to 2020.

The handover is a first for the Republic of Ireland’s political system and takes place between two parties which dominated Irish politics as bitter rivals for almost a century.