Taoiseach will lead party at election, says Martin
FOREIGN Affairs Minister Micheal Martin yesterday predicted Taoiseach Brian Cowen would lead Fianna Fail into the next General Election.
And Mr Martin again admitted he would be interested in the party leadership when it becomes available.
But he refused to speculate on precisely when the party leadership would become open and ruled out leading any heave against Mr Cowen.
Mr Martin also hit out at pundits who were forecasting the imminent demise of Fianna Fail with the party languishing at around 13pc support, their lowest support rating in history.
“I have simply been saying consistently when I am asked the question if ever in the future there was a (leadership) vacancy would you be interested and I said ‘yes, I would’. But there is no vacancy,” he told the Irish Independent.
When asked if he thought Mr Cowen would continue to lead the party and front the general election campaign, Mr Martin said: “Yes, I do.”
The Cork South-Central TD also rejected suggestions that Fianna Fail’s future as a party was now at stake.
“The future of the party is secure – the party is going to continue. The opinion polls indicate a very enormous battle ahead for the party and a lot of work to be done in the next weeks to turn those figures around,” he said.
“We are in the midst of the most unprecedented economic crisis, certainly since the 1929 Great Crash, and that certainly has an impact on people,” he added.
Speaking in Cork at the opening of a €400m Bord Gais power station, Mr Martin said he was confident the Government would get the Budget passed in the Dail. “It is very, very important for the country that that happens,” he said.