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Green Party rules out FG/FF coalition, calls for national unity government to tackle coronavirus

The Green’s 12 TDs met today to discuss their options for building a coalition.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with Catherine Martin.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan with Catherine Martin.
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE GREEN PARTY has effectively ruled out joining Fine Gael and Fianna Fáíl in a coalition for now and instead has called for a national unity Government involving all elected TDs.

The Green’s 12 TDs met today to discuss their options for building a coalition.

In a statement released this afternoon, the party said it wants a national unity Government to be put in place and then reviewed in three months. It said its reasoning for this was the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The statement reads: “The Green Party Parliamentary Party met this afternoon and agreed that, in light of the unfolding coronavirus crisis, the party are calling on all parties to suspend discussions on forming a majority government and work towards forming a crisis national government to be reviewed in three months.” 

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have themselves been busy negotiating a potential coalition which would see the two parties enter Government together for the first time. 

In a joint statement last night, 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.”

Following those talks between Leo Varadkar and Micheál 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.

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. 

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has cancelled its remaining hustings due to be held tomorrow and Saturday in light of the rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ireland. 

TDs Alan Kelly and Aodhán O’Riordáin are in the running to take over as party leader from the incumbent Brendan Howlin, after the wexford TD announced he would resign following the general election result

The Labout Party won six seats in the election and failed to regain support it once held while in government. 

In a statement, the party said: “As a result of the developing Covid-19 situation, the Labour Party has decided to cancel the remaining two Party Leadership contest hustings that were to be held this Thursday 12 March in Galway, and on Saturday 21 March in Dublin.”

“The Party will examine the possibility of holding an online husting as a replacement.”

With reporting by Sean Murray and Conor McCrave

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