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Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to enter 'detailed' talks on government formation as 'equal partners'

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are a step closer to forming a government together following a joint statement this evening.

LEO VARADKAR AND Micheál Martin have agreed that their two parties should “now commence in-depth, detailed talks” with a view to forming a government. 

The Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaders have held discussions in recent days on a number of policy issues and the current political situation.

In a joint statement, the parties said: “Both parties will also continue discussions with the Green Party. Both leaders are acutely aware of the enormous challenges facing the country, particularly with the onset of Covid-19.”

Fianna Fáil won 38 seats in the general election held last month. Fine Gael lost their position as largest party, winning 35 seats. Sinn Féin won 37.

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have repeatedly ruled out working with Sinn Féin, making it difficult for Mary Lou McDonald’s party to enter government despite their good showing when the nation went to the polls.

The two parties would still need the support of others to form a majority in government, and both have been talking to the Greens, other parties and independents. 

Following the talks between Varadkar and Martin, the two parties will “enter the talks as equal partners determined to develop proposals which will serve the interests of the people of Ireland,” the joint statement added.

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