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Fianna Fáil says Micheál Martin won't be the next Taoiseach - but they will meet Fine Gael tomorrow

It comes after a third vote for Taoiseach.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

FIANNA FÁIL HAVE confirmed that they are no longer seeking to lead a minority government.

The confirmation comes as both Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin lost a vote to lead the country in the Dáil today.

Kenny lost out by 52 votes to 77. Martin lost out by 43 to 91.

The vote leaves Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael left to negotiate the formation of a minority government, with Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McConalogue confirming that Martin will not put himself forward as Taoiseach again.

He told RTÉ’s Six One that “things need to move on”, echoing the sentiments of his party leader’s Dáil contribution.

“Following this vote it is time to move on,” Martin said

As we have said repeatedly, and as I outlined in the Dáil last week and on Sunday and Monday, Fianna Fáil believes that a minority government is the only credible and legitimate outcome from the current make-up of the Dáil. We understand the need for an agreement which allows such a government to function.

The party this evening confirmed that this means that leading a minority government is off the table.

“We have removed ourselves from leading a minority government,” a spokesperson said.

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny invited Fianna Fáil to meet with him “to authorise more discussions on the formation of a government”.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar was also on Six One, telling the programme that discussions had taken place, but not on policy. He said that the functioning of a minority government has been discussed.

“We want to achieve a stable government and we need a government that reflects the values of the main party of that government.

“I’d hope that we could get back to talking to Fianna Fáil.

“There has been progress (in meetings). The meetings have been very professional and cordial.”

The two sides will meet tomorrow, Fianna Fáil has confirmed.

“Tonight’s meeting of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party agreed that its negotiating team will reconvene talks with Fine Gael with a view to facilitating the establishment of a Fine Gael led minority Government.”

Read: No to Enda, no to Micheál: Dáil fails to elect Taoiseach for a third time

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