Taoiseach vote 'may be postponed'

Taoiseach vote 'may be postponed'

It is reported today that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael may ask the Dáil to postpone voting on a Taoiseach this week.

The news comes as both parties' negotiating teams held their first talks last night, to assess how a minority Government would work.

They are due to meet again today and described their first meeting as constructive and cordial.

Political Editor with the Irish Examiner Daniel McConnell said details of the discussions would soon become public.

"There's precious little detail...but it's unlikely a formal deal will be done in time for the vote on Thursday," he said.

"(However), there are two full days to go before we get to that point, and anything can happen. There's talk for example, of postponing the vote (for Taoiseach)."

It is also reported that Fine Gael may consider going into opposition if it fails to win over more Independents than Fianna Fáil, despite Enda Kenny previously saying he will not back a minority Micheál Martin-led government.

However, a senior Fianna Fáil TD last night said his own party needs at least 12 of the 15 Independents available to form a credible minority government, a figure that is far from likely to occur.

The apparent race for opposition was indicated last night as Ireland’s two biggest parties finally sat down for talks, 44 days after the election.

The first meeting began at 7pm in Government Buildings, with both parties describing the 90-minute discussion as “constructive and cordial” in identical but separate statements.

All members of the rival teams were in lock-down last night to help build trust.

Additional reporting by Fiachra Ó Cionnaith

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