Republic of Ireland news

Leo Varadkar 'willing' to form three-party coalition government

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking in Dublin yesterday. Picture by RTÉ
Paul Ainsworth

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has said his party and Fianna Fail will seek the support of a third party to form a government in the coming days.

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin yesterday, the Fine Gael said that the inability of other parties to form a government since February's General Election meant Fine Gael was now "willing" to form a new administration with Fianna Fail, but that a new government would require a third party's support in order to ensure long-term viability.

In the general election, Sinn Féin won the largest share of first preference votes along with 37 seats, with Mr Varadkar's Fine Gael coming third in both first vote preference and number of Dáil seats with 35.

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have previously ruled out forming a government with Sinn Féin, and yesterday the taoiseach stated that talks beginning on Monday between his party and FF would seek support of the Green Party, the Social Democrats or Labour to create a new administration.

Mr Varadkar said the support of the Dáil's 19 Independant TDs was not enough for a "stable" government.

"We can absolutely work with independents as we did for the last four years, and very successfully," he said.

"But a government that relies on nine or 10 independents supporting the government on crucial votes isn't one that's going to be stable; isn't one that's going to be able to make the tough decisions and hard calls that have to be made in the next couple of years."

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