DUBLIN – Ireland’s prime minister announced Wednesday in a statement that he is to step down as leader of his party thus paving the way for the appointment of his successor.
Enda Kenny said he would cease being the leader of his ruling Fine Gael party as of midnight and would continue as prime minister (“taoiseach” in Gaelic, the Irish language) until his successor was chosen.
“Last year I indicated that I would not lead the FG Party into the next General Election,” Kenny said. “I have decided to implement that decision today.”
He added that he had asked his party’s executive council to conclude the selection process by June 2.
“I want to assure people that throughout this internal process, I will continue to carry out my duties and responsibilities.”
The 66-year-old Kenny was elected prime minister in 2011 – and had already said in March that he would be standing down.
He has been under pressure to resign because of dissatisfaction within his own party with the results of his leadership.