Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar will swap responsibilities as taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland later this year.
Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) (deputy prime minister) Mr. Varadkar succeeds Mr. Martin as Prime Minister, while Mr. Martin becomes Tánaiste.
The coalition agreement of June 2020 stipulated the rotation of power.
The agreement brought together Mr. Varadkar’s Fine Gael party, Mr. Martin’s Fianna Fáil party, and the Green Party in a historic compromise.
Mr. Varadkar, a licensed medical doctor, formerly served as Taoiseach and Minister of Defence from 2017 until 2020.
The transfer is a first for the Republic of Ireland’s political system, and it occurs between two parties that have dominated Irish politics as fierce enemies for nearly a century.
The coalition agreement originally called for the handover to take place on Thursday, December 15, but this was amended to allow Mr. Martin to attend the final EU leaders’ conference of the year in Brussels this week.
Now, Mr. Martin will quit later, thus collapsing the government. A Dáil (Irish parliament) vote will then be held to select the new Taoiseach.
According to RTÉ, the change at the top will be followed by a cabinet reshuffle that would feature a second exchange of posts, with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath swapping seats.