Main parties continue talks to woo independents before they talk to each other

Main parties continue talks to woo independents before they talk to each other

Talks on government formation are to resume today, but will not include discussion between the two largest parties.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will continue talks with independents, hoping to build a lead before the next votes for Taoiseach on Wednesday.

Fine Gael had been expected to wrap up its talks with independents last Friday, but is keen to make sure Fianna Fáil cannot step into the void before the Dáil returns on Wednesday.

Therefore the larger party is continuing talks today - meeting the Independent Alliance at lunchtime, before a 'round-table' meeting with 15 Independents this evening.

By that point the party is expected to have tabled a major policy document, hoping to appeal to as many TDs as possible.

Fianna Fáil will move on in the meantime, meeting the so-called 'Rural Alliance' this morning, and the Independent Alliance later in the day. More meetings are likely tomorrow.

The objective for each party is to have more votes than the other, when the next ballots for Taoiseach are held on Wednesday.

Only after that point will the two large parties start speaking to each other about what kind of government could emerge.

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