Saturday 18 January 2020

Enda Kenny offers Fianna Fáil opportunity to take part in ‘partnership’ Government

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

Niall O'Connor

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has offered Fianna Fáil the opportunity to take part in a so-called ‘partnership’ government following a dramatic day at Leinster House.

The proposal was made following a one hour and 10 minute meeting between Mr Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin - after neither was elected Taoiseach during a Dáil vote.

It’s understood the offer includes an equal split of Cabinet positions.

And it is proposed a number of Independents will be included in the administration.

Read more: Enda Kenny loses second vote to be elected Taoiseach - and secures fewer votes than last time

A Fine Gael spokesman said Mr Kenny made an offer “for the purpose of forming a sustainable five year government”.

Afterward a Fianna Fáil spokesman told "At the meeting this evening between the Leaders of Fianna  Fáil and Fine Gael, Enda Kenny confirmed that he believes a Fine Gael minority led government or a Fianna Fáil led minority government would not work and that a full partnership government of Fianna Fáil / Fine Gael/Independents would be his preferred option.

“There was an hour long discussion and Micheál Martin will discuss this and other options with his parliamentary party".

But Fianna Fail is likely to reject the offer because members feel it is  a coalition by another name.

Mr Kenny and Mr Martin have agreed to meet again tomorrow for further discussions, according to a statement from Fine Gael tonight.

"This evening the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Leader of Fianna Fáil Micheal Martin had a positive and constructive meeting during which they discussed the current political situation and options for the formation of a stable and lasting Government," read the statement.

"The Taoiseach made a formal offer for the formation of a full partnership Government including Fine Gael, Independents and Fianna Fail which would have the potential to provide a stable and lasting government."

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