Published: Sun, February 16, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ireland's Sinn Fein says 'very, very tricky' to form all-left government

Ireland's Sinn Fein says 'very, very tricky' to form all-left government

'The mask slipped, ' Mr Martin told his colleagues and revealed why Sinn Fein are not fit for office.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald on Monday said she would attempt to bypass those two parties and form a government of left-wing parties, but on Wednesday the Labour party said it planned to remain in opposition.

During the election campaign, Martin ruled out doing a deal with Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), but in the immediate aftermath of the vote, he refused to completely exclude the possibility.

Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and the center-right Fine Gael Party of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar secured just under a quarter of seats in parliament each, meaning it will be hard to form a government unless at least two of the three cooperate.

Her group surged from the fringes of the country's political scene to become a mainstream party after voters flocked to support the nationalists who want to reunite the island of Ireland.

Both parties are also opposed to Sinn Fein's high-spending promises, its pledge to scrap property tax and plans to hike income taxes on high earners they say would discourage foreign multinationals that employ one-in-10 Irish workers.

Now we wish to meet with Fianna Fail, and later on with Fine Gael.

"I would not rule out another general election".

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The Irish Times newspaper said Martin was expected to rule out such a coalition.

Fine Gael's number of seats in the Dail (Ireland's parliament) fell from 47 to 35 in the election.

Fianna Fail won the most seats with 38, but Sinn Fein won 37 seats and the highest proportion of first preference votes following Saturday's general election.

But because the Fianna Fail speaker's seat was unchallenged, both parties essentially "won".

'There was no appetite to go in with Fine Gael.

All eyes are now on a coalition of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party to form the next Government.

Leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan issued a statement today saying: "There is broad agreement among a variety of parties that any new government has to deliver on housing, health care and climate action but no discussion yet on how these changes should be made".

Sinn Fein on Thursday effectively admitted it could not enter power without one of the two large parties, with Ms McDonald telling reporters it would be 'very, very tricky to construct such a government'.

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