Political news

Micheál Martin writes to taoiseach seeking to strike a deal on general election date

Micheál Martin is seeking to strike a deal with Fine Gael on a date for a general election. Picture by Peter Clarke

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar seeking to strike a deal on a date for a general election next year.

Mr Martin told his Fine Gael counterpart it was time to "step in and give some certainty".

"The responsible thing to do at this point is to end the speculation and agree a date for the dissolution of the Dáil, a date for the holding of an election," the letter is reported to state.

A confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil has kept Mr Varadkar's minority government in power since 2016.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney yesterday refused to be drawn on an election date, stating it is up to the two party leaders to decide "when the time is right".

Speaking on RTÉ, he said Mr Martin was "slow off the mark" on the issue as 18 months ago the taoiseach had written to the Fianna Fáil leader requesting they agree a date for an election in May.

The two party leaders are due to meet at the end of this coming week to discuss the matter, Mr Coveney added.

On Saturday, the taoiseach told RTÉ his preference remained for a summer election "for a lot of reasons".

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Political news