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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 10 July, 2020

Eamon Ryan: No one has 'discussed or agreed' alternative approach if PfG rejected

The Green Party leader said he hopes the programme for government is approved on Friday.

File photo of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.
File photo of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.
Image: Sam Boal

THERE HAS BEEN no discussion or agreement on other options to forming a government between the Green Party, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael if the draft PfG is rejected on Friday, Eamon Ryan has said.

The Green Party leader said he hopes the draft programme for government (PfG) is approved by party members on Friday.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ryan said an alternative approach to forming a government has not been discussed in the instance that the deal is rejected. 

“No one has actually, I think, even discussed or agreed what the alternative approach will be if this doesn’t go through on Friday,” Ryan said. 

“It would have to be a very rapid turnaround over next weekend working at what the alternative would be.”

The party leader also said he hasn’t “looked beyond Friday” in deciding whether he will continue to contest leadership of the party if this deal is not approved. 

The Green Party, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have sat around a table for weeks discussing what they would like to deliver if they all entered into government together.

A programme for government has been published, and now it is down to the members of each party as to whether they want to give it the green light. 

While some had concerns last week, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil now seem confident that their party members will sign off on it. All eyes are on the Greens, who have a high bar to reach – a 66% approval rate – if they are to enter into government. 

Green Party members have said the vote is on a knife-edge. 

“If it isn’t agreed, we will have to be part of the wider political system which will have to come up with some other alternative of managing the country,” Ryan said. 

“I hope it can [be approved], and if it doesn’t then the political system will be in a difficult situation. We’ll work our way out of it one way or another.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin have also both stated that it would be a “political crisis” if the deal is rejected.

Speaking yesterday, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said a rejection of the deal would just mean that all parties would have to talk to one another. 

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Micheál Martin said yesterday that “an enormous amount of time has been put into the negotiations to get this programme for government together, and so therefore, there is no magic plan B”.

Martin appeared to rule out Sinn Féin as a potential coalition partner if the Green Party don’t back the PfG.

“The Social Democrats and the Labour Party wrote back to us so I wouldn’t rule them out as a possibility,” he said during an interview on Today FM.

“Secondly, we have had good discussions with Independent TDs,” he said.

- With reporting by Christina Finn. 

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