Micheál Martin has been elected as the new taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) at a special meeting of the Irish Parliament in Dublin.
The 59-year-old Cork native has been the leader of the Fianna Fáil party since 2011.
He will lead a tripartite coalition consisting of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party.
It is the first time in history that former Civil War rivals Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have ruled together.
Martin is expected to lead the country until December 2021 before returning him to Leo Varadkar, the leader of Fine Gael.
In his acceptance speech, Martin said that being chosen to serve as a taoiseach was “one of the highest honors anyone can receive.”
He was chosen by the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in a special session on Saturday, held at the Dublin Convention Center, instead of his traditional home at Leinster House, due to Covid-19’s social distancing rules.
A majority of 93 Dáil members voted in favor of him taking over the role, while 63 members voted against him.
Later, Irish President Michael D Higgins presented Martin with his seal at the President’s official residence, Áras an Uacharáin, on Saturday afternoon.
Later, he must present his cabinet before the Dáil votes on his nominations.
Varadkar has been a caretaker for Taoiseach since the February general election.
No party came close to winning a majority in the poll that would allow them to rule alone, but the coronavirus pandemic halted coalition talks.
Fianna Fáil won the majority of the seats, but the two largest parties needed the support of the Greens to have an active majority in the Irish Parliament (the Dáil).
Party leaders and their negotiating teams agreed on a coalition agreement in early June.
On Friday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Congratulations to Ireland for forming a new government and to Micheal Martin TD for becoming Taoiseach. Ireland is our closest neighbor, good friend and ally on issues like climate change , the global fight against Covid -19 and our shared values on human rights and democracy. ”
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted her congratulations and said she looked forward to collaborating with Martin soon to “further strengthen the relationship between Scotland and Ireland.”
Analysis: BBC News NI Dublin Correspondent Shane Harrison
Micheál Martin was the only Fianna Fáil leader in the party’s history who did not serve as a taoiseach, but that changed today.
He will have the role for 30 months before handing it over to Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar.
The two parties, both centrist, Fianna Fáil slightly to the left and Fine Gael to the right, have dominated state politics since its founding.
Although there has been little to separate them politically for decades, their decision to share power in government for the first time is historic.
But it is also a political necessity for its leaders to keep Sinn Féin, the party that garnered the most votes in the February general election, away from the government.
Sinn Féin has accused the two of using the Greens as a “fig leaf” to hide their denial of the electorate’s demand for change.
All three parties have five years to refute those who claim that the new coalition is simply a slightly greener version of business, as is usual in areas like housing and dealing with climate change in a radical way.
A meeting between Martin and Northern Ireland’s first and deputy prime ministers, Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, is likely in the coming days.
While there will be new faces, there will be some old issues to talk about, like Brexit and Covid-19.
Not everyone supported the new taoiseach during Saturday’s vote at the Convention Center.
‘Marriage of convenience’
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald accused Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael of conspiring to exclude them from the government.
In the February elections, Sinn Féin obtained 24.5% of the first-choice votes, compared to 22% for Fianna Fáil and 21% for Fine Gael.
“At the prospect of losing control of power, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have circled around the wagons,” he said, claiming that the new coalition was a “marriage of convenience.”
But Norma Foley of Fianna Fáil nominated her party leader and said that Micheál Martin had a proud record of dedication to the people of Ireland.
He praised his past record in government and said “he has the talent and tenacity we need to lead the country with distinction.”
‘Civil war politics’
Fine Gael leader and outgoing taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his party would not make a nomination, but would instead support the nomination of Micheál Martin.
Referring to his two parties that joined a coalition for the first time, Varadkar said Saturday’s vote was a “historic occasion.”
“I think the politics of the Civil War ended a long time ago in our country, but today, the politics of the Civil War ends in our parliament,” he said.
“Two great parties unite with another great party, the Green Party, to offer what this country needs, a stable government for the betterment of our country and for the betterment of our world.”
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan also supported Mr. Martin’s nomination for taoiseach, saying that the leader of Fianna Fáil was “perfectly qualified to lead the country.”
He said the new coalition’s government program “provides a good plan; an immediate stimulus” and added that all three parties “will get to work early Monday morning.”
Labor leader Alan Kelly said his party would not support the Martin or McDonald nomination.
He said Sinn Fein was “simply making motions to appear interested in the government” and had not attempted to come up with a program for the government that could attract majority support.
People before making a profit Richard Boyd Barrett did not support Martin’s nomination and said the coalition program for the government was a “change and overheating of the same failed policies.”