Friday 20 January 2017

Government must now be formed

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

'The only option available is a Fine Gael-led minority government under the leadership of Enda Kenny' Photo: Maxwell Photography
'The only option available is a Fine Gael-led minority government under the leadership of Enda Kenny' Photo: Maxwell Photography

Today marks 51 days since the General Election, the outcome of which was a result that many predicted but few still seem capable of dealing with. The political stalemate has gone on long enough. The time has come to form a government and to get on with the business of running the country. Since polling day, the two main political parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, have been engaged in the slow process of contending with the fallout. For that, those parties have been roundly, but unfairly criticised. The result was always going to take some time to negotiate.

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This newspaper has sought to direct what criticism should exist at those who deserve it most, which are those parties, alliances and individuals that have refused to engage whatsoever in the process of government formation, because above all others that is where the criticism is most deserved. The Independent TDs who did manage to rise to the occasion resolutely refused to get off of the fence last week when it was put up to them that they should do so. There are varied and nuanced reasons for them failing to choose a side, which must be accepted as legitimate. However, these same Independents must now make known their decisions and bring an end to the instability that has existed since election day.

The only option available is a Fine Gael-led minority government under the leadership of Enda Kenny. Those Independent TDs minded to support this government must do so this week, although a Fine Gael/Independent government could hardly be described as representative of the electorate's decision. The new government would be well served by the inclusion of those other parties now said to be tentatively considering re-engaging in the process.

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