A joint Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil blueprint for government will offer an “inclusive platform” for future coalition talks with other parties, the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.
Negotiating teams from the two parties are finalising the document as part of their efforts to form a new government two months on from February’s inconclusive general election.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has suggested his party could be in a position to sign off on the document today.
Minister Donohoe said, once agreed by the negotiating teams, the document would then go to the respective party leaders for approval.
He said the next move would be to circulate the paper to other parties.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are both keen to have a third party in any new coalition government.
The Greens, Social Democrats and Labour have all been mooted as potential junior partners.
“I hope this will provide the basis upon which we can have discussions with other parties,” Mr Donohoe told RTE Radio One.
“It is so imperative that when and if a new government is formed, it is one that has a stable majority, but more to the point it does reflect the views, the ideas, the hopes, the anxieties that we heard on February 8 (election day) and that is why we believe it is imperative that there are more than two political parties in this government.”
Mr Donohoe added: “It is my great hope that the work that the two parties are crafting together at the moment in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can offer an inclusive platform for the beginning of a discussion.
“But our own two parties and our party leaders will need to form a final view on that in the coming days.”
Following February’s poll, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil both have 37 seats in the Dáil and Fine Gael has 35.
Sinn Féin, which won the popular vote, had attempted to form a left-leaning government with like-minded parties and independent TDs but could not secure the numbers to reach the 80-seat threshold required for a majority.
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have repeatedly ruled out going into government with Sinn Féin.
Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams accused the two parties of refusing to acknowledge the rights of people who voted for his party.
This is the anniversary of the GFA. 22 yrs ago the unionist parties refused to talk to SF or accept rights of our voters. Today the leaders of Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael r refusing to recognise rights of SF voters or engage with SF on govt formation. So much for lessons of history pic.twitter.com/nvVjAiKTkx— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) April 10, 2020
He claimed their stance was similar to that adopted by unionist parties in Northern Ireland prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
“Here we are all these years, decades later, and the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are doing exactly the same thing,” he said.
“Refusing to recognise the rights of the Sinn Féin electorate.
“Refusing to engage with Sinn Féin leadership in the formation for government talks.
“So, so much for the lessons of history.”