Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he does not think a second general election is needed this year.
Speaking in Dublin on Monday, he said: “I don’t envisage there being a second election.
“I don’t even know how we would conduct an election in the current context. And as you know when the results came in from the election two months ago, my party took the view that we should go into opposition.”
“Even though we lost narrowly, we were defeated. We felt the right thing for us was to go into opposition at that time, we gave the other parties two months to form a government, they haven’t done so.
“For that reason we felt that it is our responsibility to the people and to the nation to be available to serve in government.”
Mr Varadkar said a third party is needed to join Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in government but they will not “bully” any party into doing so.
“I can’t speak for other parties, but if there is going to be a third pillar in this government, and there’s a lot of its there – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have yet to agree a document.
“If we can agree a document, for a government to have a functioning majority and to be able to lead the country for the next four to five years then we need a third party a third pillar as part of that government.”
“I’m absolutely sure that the Green Party wouldn’t participate in such a government unless there was a very strong climate action and biodiversity agenda as part of that.
"The Social Democrats have focused a lot on making universal health care a reality and I’m sure they would want that to be part of any coalition agreement. Labour have a huge interest in areas like health and child care and housing so what we’re saying really to those parties is we need a third pillar in this government.”
“We wouldn’t expect for a second that you would enter government unless a big part of your core agenda was a part of that government’s mission as well.
"What we intend to do if we can come to an agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is to reach out to those parties to see if they will talk to us. It is not our view that we should bully any party into government.”
“This is a democracy and there should not be any forced marriages – only parties that want to serve together and work together and have a mandate.”
Earlier today, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said that he thinks Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael “can make it work this time” in forming a government.
Speaking on the Morning Mix show on South East radio, Mr Coveney said that he wants other parties involved and that he thought the Greens, Labour and Social Democrats will reevaluate when they see the framework document.