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EIRE ELECTIONS 2011 February 28, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in European Politics.
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Such is the nature of proportional representation system used in Ireland that once the seats are confirmed, negotiations begin to form the government.

That is happening but this election outcome is different. The Independent reports via PA:

Behind-the-scenes negotiations to form Ireland’s next government will begin today.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny will discuss options for a new coalition with the Labour Party and separately with like-minded independents after steering his party to an historic victory at the polls.

But before any calls were made, all sides accepted a deal has to be struck inside a week as Ireland faces a series of challenging hurdles linked to its multibillion euro bailout and banking crisis.

Fine Gael’s director of elections Phil Hogan said pressure from Europe would force a quick decision on coalition.

“There seems to be a realisation that there are some important decisions coming up for the country in the context of EU matters,” he said.

The Dail (parliament) is scheduled to sit again on Wednesday March 9.

Mr Kenny is due to travel to Helsinki on Friday for a meeting of the European People’s Party, with which Fine Gael is affiliated.

The contacts are intended to open the door for a charm offensive and garner support to renegotiate Ireland’s 85 billion euro (£73 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, who will meet left-leaning European colleagues separately on the same day, was in prime position to join a coalition after steering his party to second place.

Since Fine Gael has 75 seats in a parliament with 166 seats, there is another option of forming a government with independents – although how that might work out in practice is another story, not least as the aftermath of the banking induced financial crisis.

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