Irish Green Party leader calls for general election

The leader of the Irish Green Party has plunged Ireland's coalition government into chaos in the aftermath of the country's financial bailout.

John Gormley, who is environment minister in the coalition government, today (November 22) called for a general election in the second half of January next year.

Although, Mr Gormley stopped short of pulling out of the power sharing agreement which brought his six TDs to government in June 2007.

Ireland's ruling government led by Fianna Fáil has a slender majority due to an alliance with the Greens and a handful of independent TDs.

But, the centralist government, led by prime minister Brian Cowen, has just a three-seat majority in parliament and faces a by-election in one of them this week.

Mr Gormley has demanded three things, firstly that the country produces a credible four-year plan to balance its budgets by 2014

Secondly, deliver a working budget for 2011 and thirdly, securing funding support from the EU and IMF which will respect vital Irish interests and restore stability to the Euro area.

He said: "The past week has been a traumatic one for the Irish electorate people fear people feel misled and betrayed.

"We've always said our involvement in government would only continue as long as it benefited the Irish people.

"Leaving the country without a government while these are not resolved would be very damaging and would breach our duty of care.

"But we've now reached a point where the Irish people need political certainly to take them beyond the coming two months, so we believe it is time to fix a date for a general election in the second half of January 2011."

Luke Walsh


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