Kenny elected as Ireland's Prime Minister


Enda Kenny, a centre-right member of the Fine Gael party, was elected by Irish parliament to be the country's new Teoiseach, or prime minister, on Wednesday. The former teacher will head a coalition government of his party and the centre-left Labour party.


Kenny said he was "very mindful of the task" ahead of him, as his government will work to rebuild the weak Irish economy.

"We do stand on the threshhold of fundamental change, but there is equally another task, and that is the task of renewal," he said in his first speech as prime minister.

On his list of immediate duties will be the renegotiation of the 85-billion-euro bailout package the IMF and the European Union was forced to accept last year as the economy fell apart.

The new government is wasting no time mulling over options-- Kenny said the government will meet European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday, and will attend the eurozone summit on Friday.

Kenny said that 10 Fine Gael party members would be in his cabinet, including veteran politican Michael Noonan, who was named Finance Minister. Eamon Gilmore, the Labour party leader, will be foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

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