Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has decided to step down as leader of the ruling Fianna Fail party, BBC reports.
“I have taken, on my own counsel, the decision to step down” Cowen said.
He will continue to run the government until March’s general election. Fianna Fail will lose more than half of its 71 seats in the Dail, party advisers have warned, according to the Guardian.
The country’s vulnerable groups face a disproportionate threat due to financial and economic woes, a United Nations independent expert has warned.
“Ireland’s problems in the long term will not be solved if inequality increases or if the most vulnerable do not have a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society in general,” Magdalena Sepúlveda said on Jan. 21, following a weeklong fact-finding mission.