Wednesday 25 January 2017

Micheál Martin wants a month set aside before coalition talks

Published 29/02/2016 | 17:29

Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny now face the prospect of forming a coalition
Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny now face the prospect of forming a coalition
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin (right) and Michael McGrath (left) celebrate at the general election 2016 count at the City Hall in Cork

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin wants all of the main parties in the newly elected Dáil to agree a programme for reforming politics before any coalition talks take place.

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Mr Martin met with his key advisors this afternoon and has decided not to make any immediate approaches to other parties or independents about forming a government.

Instead he issued a statement in which he suggests the next month should be set aside for each of block of TDs to set up a working group that would propose Dail reforms.

“During the past five years Fianna Fáil has repeatedly argued that we must change the way that politics is done in our country.

“The failure to implement any meaningful political reform remains one of the biggest broken promises of the outgoing government,” he said.

Mr Martin said that his party “won a substantial mandate for its programme” but also acknowledge that every one of the 158 members of the new Dáil carry their own mandate.

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin (right) and Michael McGrath (left) celebrate at the general election 2016 count at the City Hall in Cork
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin (right) and Michael McGrath (left) celebrate at the general election 2016 count at the City Hall in Cork

“We believe that the new Dáil should not represent more business as usual – that it should involve a decisive move towards a reformed politics.

“This should be addressed immediately and before the process of forming a new government is proceeded with,” he said.

The Fianna Fail leader adds that the next government should only take up office once the cross-party reforms are agreed.

“Once groupings are finalised in the coming fortnight, nomination to a negotiating committee would be made by each Dáil group.

“They would be given a fortnight to agree core principles and asked to agree in-principle changes which would be adopted by Dáil Éireann,” he said.

His list of reforms include:

  • Major limit on ability of government to control all business on an ongoing basis
  • Set timings for legislation except in emergencies and an end to the practice of guillotines
  • Earlier and more comprehensive review of legislation
  • The establishment of an independent budget review office to review and cost all proposals brought to a vote by either government or opposition
  • The establishment of an office of Independent Legal Advisor to the Oireachtas
  • A new regulatory oversight process

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