BRIAN A SURE SUCCESSOR.
The Finance Minister will be officially appointed at a special meeting of the party next Wednesday morning.
The Tanaiste had been Bertie's chosen successor. But it was expected other senior Cabinet ministers, including Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Education Minister Mary Hanafin, might mount a challenge for the top job. In the end, the Mr Cowen was the sole candidate when nominations closed at 2pm yesterday, in a show of unity in the wake of Bertie's resignation.
He was nominated for the post by Justice Minister Brian Lenihan and Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan.
"I am deeply honoured by the confidence shown in me by the members of the Parliamentary Party," Brian Cowen said yesterday.
"It is a reflection of the support of the wider Fianna Fail membership throughout the country."