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Thursday 29 September 2016

Micheal Martin has told Independent TDs tomorrow is the last time they can vote for Fianna Fail to lead next government

Philip Ryan and Kevin Doyle

Published 13/04/2016 | 20:05

Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin
Party leaders Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin

The Fianna Fáíl leader has told Independent TDs tomorrow is the last time they will have an opportunity to vote for him to lead the next government.

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Mr Martin told Independents the offer of a Fianna Fáil led minority government will be withdrawn if he does not get more votes than Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny in tomorrow’s vote for Taoiseach.

A senior Fianna Fail source said Independents were issued the ultimatum: “Vote for us or you’re stuck with Enda.”

“The bottom line is tomorrow is the last time the Independents can vote for Micheal Martin,” the source said.

“We are making it clear the option for a Fianna Fáil led minority government will be gone after tomorrow if we don’t get the votes,” the source added.

However, Independent.ie understands if Mr Martin does not win tomorrow’s vote Fianna Fail will return to the table to discuss supporting a Fine Gael led minority government from the opposition benches.

Ultimatum

The ultimatum came after Fianna Fáil tonight pulled out of a commitment to exchange policy papers with Fine Gael.

The two parties were due to hold a discussion on policy issues this evening but Independent.ie has learned that Fianna Fáil cancelled at the last minute.

A Fine Gael source said their negotiating team of Frances Fitzgerald, Simon Coveney, Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe were “extremely frustrated” by the development.

It is the first major sign of tensions between the two parties since they began discussion on the formation of a minority government two days ago.

Fianna Fáil did not feel in a position to show up for the 8pm meeting and a source close to the talks said: “We don’t know where this leaves things now.”

It is understood that Michael Martin’s team, which is made up of Barry Cowen, Michael McGrath, Charlie McConalogue and Jim O’Callaghan felt their document was not ready to discuss.

 

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