Leo Varadkar should not return to the role of taoiseach at the end of this year and a general election should be held to decide Ireland’s leader, according to Sinn Féin.
The Fine Gael leader is due to return to the role in December, replacing Micheál Martin, as part of the coalition deal that saw Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party form a government in 2020.
However, he is currently under investigation for disclosing a confidential document to a friend while he was taoiseach in 2019, and a decision on whether he should face charges may not be made before his reinstatement to the role.
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson Pearse Doherty said on Monday that the “very serious matter” must be resolved before Mr Varadkar returns to the head of the Government.
"In our view, in relation to what will happen at the end of the year in terms of a rotation in taoiseach, there shouldn't be any rotation,” he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One.
"There should be a general election and let the people decide who should be the taoiseach of this State."
Mr Doherty said the disclosure of the confidential document, a doctors’ pay deal between the State and the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), has been “the subject of a criminal investigation for over a year and a half now.”
Mr Varadkar has admitted to sharing the document with Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, who at the time was head of a rival organisation the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP).
At the weekend, a Garda investigation into the incident concluded and a file of evidence was sent to prosecutors.
Mr Doherty said: "We know that the leader of Fine Gael and the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has been questioned as part of that, he's central to this investigation.
"We understand that it's under the corruption act and now the file is gone to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution), and it will be up to them to decide whether a crime has been committed and whether they have the necessary threshold to look at prosecution, if indeed a crime has been committed.
"But what we do know is that Leo Varadkar leaked this document – he has admitted to that.
“What we do know is that he went to lengths to ensure that that document got to his friend, he had that document couriered to the government jet.
"He didn't send it to the offices of the NAGP, which are across the street from the Dáil, he sent it to his private address.
"We do know that the text messages which looked at the process to give his friend that document were deleted from his mobile phone.
“Those messages were deleted, however, earlier messages to Maitiú Ó Tuathail still were on his mobile phone, so we do know he gave confidential information, which was valuable information to that organisation at the time, to his friend, and on that basis Leo Varadkar should not have remained in office.”