Friday 24 November 2017

Minority government will pose some legal headaches

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Josepha Madigan TD and acting Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at Government Buildings following talks between Fine Gael and a number of Independent deputies on forming a new government. Photo: Arthur Carron
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Josepha Madigan TD and acting Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at Government Buildings following talks between Fine Gael and a number of Independent deputies on forming a new government. Photo: Arthur Carron

James McDermott

As we inch closer to the formation of a minority government, it is worth considering the legal implications of how this might work in practice. In fact, there is very little guidance in the text of the Constitution as to the extent of Executive power in such circumstances.

For example, Article 13.2.2 refers to the absolute discretion of the President to refuse a dissolution on the advice of a "Taoiseach who has ceased to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann".

However, implicit in the concept of ceasing to retain the support of the majority is the fact that at some point in time you actually enjoyed such support.

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