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Ireland's Varadkar announces new cabinet lineup
Last Updated: 2017-06-15 00:00 | Xinhua
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Ireland's new Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Wednesday evening announced his cabinet lineup, remaining largely the same as his predecessor Enda Kenny's cabinet.

In a statement to the Dail Eireann, lower house of Irish parliament, Varadkar confirmed Frances Fitzgerald remains as deputy prime minister and becomes minister for enterprise and innovation.

The departments of finance and public expenditure and reform will be combined into a super government department, with Paschal Donohoe assuming the ministerial role there.

Varadkar's rival for the leadership of Fine Gael (United Ireland Party), Simon Coveney, is named as minister for foreign affairs with special responsibility for Brexit, with Charlie Flanagan moving to the Department of Justice and Equality.

Earlier in the day, the Dail Eireann voted to elect Varadkar as prime minister, making him the youngest prime minister in the history of the country at just 38 years of age.

Varadkar was nominated for the position of prime minister after his predecessor Enda Kenny formally resigned on Monday.

In Wednesday's vote, Varadkar was elected by 57 to 50, with 47 abstentions. He got the support of his party and some independent TDs (members of parliament), which will guarantee him forming a minority government. All TDs from Fianna Fail (Republican Party), Fine Gael's main rival, abstained in the vote.

After Varadkar was elected by parliament, Irish President Michael D Higgins appointed him as prime minister by signing the warrant of appointment.

During an interview on public broadcaster RTE in January 2015, Varadkar spoke publicly for the first time about being gay. This made him the first openly gay cabinet member in Ireland. Varadkar was a prominent advocate of the 2015 same-sex marriage referendum. His partner, Matthew Barrett, is a doctor at Dublin's Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.

Born on Jan. 18, 1979 in Dublin, Varadkar is the youngest child and only son of an Indian immigrant father and an Irish mother. He studied medicine at the prestigious Trinity College Dublin.

The young Dubliner was 22 when he entered Irish politics. He has been a TD for the Dublin West constituency since 2007. He held several ministerial posts in Kenny's cabinet.

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