Wednesday, 08 July, 2020


Irish PM Varadkar resigns to caretaker role as government formation founders

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar the current Taoiseach formally resigned as prime minister after the votes but will stay on as caretaker leader until a successor is chosen Irish PM Varadkar resigns to caretaker role as government formation founders
Bennie Garza | 22 February, 2020, 06:26

Deputy Joe carey is commenting after the leaders of both his party and Fianna Fail agreed to meet next week for exploratory talks.

Fine Gael, Mr Varadkar's party, came third after Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein.

"In accordance with the constitution, the taoiseach and the government will continue to carry on their duties until successors have been appointed", according to the government statement.

"We are willing to talk to other parties about participating in government if the opposition fails to put a government together, but that's not something we are planning to do or are looking for", the Taoiseach added. We didn't win this election, but we have nearly as many seats and votes as Fianna Fáil, and not that many fewer then Sinn Féin.

The parties in the 160-seat chamber, the Dail, convened and nominated candidates to lead a new government as a Taoiseach, but without having a majority majority, was postponed until March 5.

"I will be standing for the position of taoiseach today because I want to stand up for all of those who voted for real change and I want to deliver for all those that voted for change", said leader Mary Lou McDonald as she arrived at the Dail.

"The people who vote for us don't go anywhere", McDonald said.

He received the backing of 41 lawmakers in Thursday's contest.

It won the popular vote with 24.5 percent of first preference ballots and picked up 14 seats by attracting voters with a campaign focusing on Ireland's housing shortage and health crisis.

But its emblematic policy on Irish unity is likely to be an important issue if it gains power.

The IRA fought British rule in Northern Ireland for decades until the late 1990s, when a peace agreement largely ended violence that left more than 3,000 dead on all sides.

There's been no formal discussions between the two parties on forming a government so far.

But with the three largest refusing to cooperate newly elected speaker Sean O Fearghail said the challenge of government formation remained "substantial".

"I also know from speaking to people out and about, people of all politics and none, that any suggestion of return of the old Fianna Fail and Fine Gael government will cause huge disappointment right across the country and, I imagine, huge anger".

"Ireland must be prepared to veto this proposal and reject any cut in the CAP", they told Mr Varadkar.

He says the onus is on Sinn Fein to form a Government.

Speaking to Irish journalists in Brussels today, Friday, February 21, the Taoiseach said that he will report back to the Fine Gael parliamentary party on "probably Wednesday or Thursday" of next week to get the views from the party's 35 TDs.

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