Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar resigns following inconclusive election result

20 February 2020, 23:25

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Irish Taoiseach has tendered his resignation to the Irish President following the inconclusive result of the recent general election.

He will remain in his role in an acting capacity as the country continues to try and form a new coalition government and his successor is appointed.

Mr Varadkar, who has been in power since 2017, tendered his resignation in a 45-minute meeting with Irish President Michael Higgins, according to Irish media.

The move comes after no single party secured an outright majority in the February general election.

Fine Gael, Mr Varadkar's party, came third after Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein.

Coalition talks are still underway, but the two main parties are refusing to work with Sinn Fein.

Mr Varadkar resigned after no party leader secured enough votes to become Taoiseach
Mr Varadkar resigned after no party leader secured enough votes to become Taoiseach. Picture: PA

The lower house in the Irish parliament, Dail Eireann, has been adjourned until march after no party leaders could gather enough votes to be elected Taoiseach.

After the Thursday sitting, Mr Varadkar said: "The responsibility is now on all of us to provide good government and, indeed good opposition because that's what the people have every right to expect.

"Today, the Dail has failed to agree on the nomination of a Taoiseach.

"Therefore, in accordance with the precedent set in the 1989 and followed in 1992 and 2016, immediately after today's sitting is concluded, I will travel to Aras an Uachtarain to inform the president of my resignation from this office. And that of the government.

"The government will continue to carry out its duties until a new government has been appointed. I will likewise continue as Taoiseach until the election of that new government."