July 14, 2024

What’s another year? No election until 2020 as Martin backs FG government ‘in national interest’

THERE will be no General Election next year after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said his party will continue to support the Fine Gael minority government until early 2020.

Speaking in the Dáil earlier today, Mr Martin said he “reluctantly” concluded that the country could not afford to have an election amid deepening uncertainly over Brexit.

However, critics have pointed to the fact that Fianna Fáil still lags behind its Fine Gael rivals in the polls and that a 2019 election would not be in Mr Martin’s interests.

Mr Martin told the Dáil today that “business as usual is not acceptable”.

He criticised Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s government for being complacent on key issues such as housing, but he added: “The chaos will not spread here from London… The national interest will come first.”

The details of the arrangement will still have to be negotiated, but the Fianna Fáil leader said his party will help pass a budget next year. He indicated an election would then take place in early 2020.

Mr Martin said under normal times there would be an immediate election – but “these are not normal times and Ireland is immediately confronted with one of the biggest threats in many decades”.

Speaking about the chaotic scenes emerging from Westminster, where British Prime Minister Theresa May was facing a no-confidence vote from her own party, Mr Martin said: “This period of growing chaos and uncertainty is not one we can assume comes to an end by March 29.”

In his contribution before Mr Martin’s speech, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was “noteworthy to recognise the contrast” between politics in Ireland and the UK right now. He said the level of stability in the Dáil was helping Ireland to cope with the threat of Brexit.

“That makes our country a much better place and puts our country in a much stronger position,” he said.


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