Published: Sat, February 22, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar resigns

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar resigns

Ireland's parliament will meet on Thursday to try to choose a prime minister, the first step in what's likely to be prolonged search for a new government.

Varadkar, whose father was born in Mumbai, visited Irish President Michael D Higgins in Dublin to tender his resignation as Taoiseach - as the Prime Minister is known in Ireland.

"Therefore, in accordance with the precedent set in the 1989 and followed in 1992 and 2016, immediately after today's sitting is concluded, I will travel to Aras an Uachtarain to inform the president of my resignation from this office".

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.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin told reporters he would speak to Varadkar after Thursday's sitting and open formal negotiations with the smaller Green Party next week. But both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have ruled out a coalition or partnership with Sinn Fein, which was historically the political wing of the IRA.

"The people who vote for us aren't going anywhere", said McDonald.

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"We have committed ourselves with them to represent them well and do our best to achieve that government of change, and that is precisely what we intend to do".

"If they can't, they should say so and be honest and honest about their failure and the empty promises they made".

He received the support of 41 legislators in Thursday's contest.

Sinn Fein, which picked up 14 seats, attracted voters by focusing on Ireland's housing shortage and health crisis. It wants a referendum on uniting the two parts of the island within five years. We think that those parties that are now in opposition should form a government.

But with the three largest refusing to cooperate newly elected speaker Sean O Fearghail said the challenge of government formation remained "substantial". Coalition talks will begin in earnest after Thursday's vote - in 2016, it took almost three months to form a government after the election.

Mrs McDonald said her party's breakthrough in the election, where Sinn Fein won 24 percent of the vote, showed a desire for an alternative government. Martin continued to attack Sinn Fein's links to the IRA: "When I raised the issue of the systematic cover-up of child abuse by the Provisional IRA, I was called a lowlife by deputies present here today".

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