Party rows back on election demand to pass pet projects
FIANNA Fail is perfectly happy to allow the Green Party to pass their pet projects -- provided the end of January deadline for the general election is delayed.
The junior coalition partner's call for an early election has backfired badly as the Greens have risked their priority laws on environment and ethics.
The Greens are now sliding on their January 31 deadline for the holding of a General Election, with party sources admitting there could be "four or fives weeks' slippage".
The possible delay of the General Election is a severe blow to the Greens' waning credibility.
The Greens may have to allow the date of the General Election be pushed out until March or April to get its goals achieved.
The party wants to pass laws to implement:
- Bans on corporate donations
- Targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
- Noise limits
- Increases in waste charges
- The election of a Dublin mayor.
But some of these pieces of legislation are not even drafted yet. Fianna Fail sources say that to pass all this legislation will take far longer than the three Dail sitting weeks in January.
"It all depends how long the Dail will be sitting for in the New Year. For bills to be passed will need Dail time. We are going to try to facilitate them," a source said.
Senior Fianna Fail sources believe the Greens are now seeing the error of pulling the plug on the coalition.
"We think they regret what they said on day one about the election date. Now they're stupid enough to say they want all their items put through," a source said.
Environment Minister John Gormley said a fortnight ago the election would have to be held by the end of January.
"We believe it is time to fix a date for a General Election in the second half of January 2011," he said.
But in a sign of disarray, Green chairman Dan Boyle said yesterday that Mr Gormley only said a date for the election would have to announced by the end of January.
He said he wanted to "put to bed" the belief the General Election would be held in January.
Mr Boyle said the Greens' position was clear and that, following the completion of the budgetary process, the party did not intend to remain in Government.
Energy Minister Eamon Ryan denied the Greens were pushing the election back.
"We have a duty of care to get the Budget passed and we've shown we can do that. We've got to manage that and face the people on the basis of what we've done and what we should do next," he said.