Government talks: Independents call for minority government deal or a return to the polls

Independent TDs have put it up to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to form a government or go back to the country for a second election.

Government talks: Independents call for minority government deal or a return to the polls

Just one of the 15 Independent TDs who have been involved in protracted discussions voted in favour of electing Enda Kenny as taoiseach yesterday.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin did not get a single Independent vote.

Putting on a united front, Independents have now pulled out of talks and will only re-enter discussions if a number of stipulations are agreed.

Before the third attempt to nominate a taoiseach was held yesterday, members of the Independent Alliance, the five rural Independent TDs, the Healy-Rae brothers, and Maureen O’Sullivan met to discuss their options.

They decided to abstain in the vote, which was the third attempt to elect a taoiseach since March 10, and set out a number of requirements to re-enter talks.

They said in a statement: “We are stepping back from talks on the formation of a new government with both parties until they agree a reciprocal agreement that they will give mutual support to each other in the event of either party leader becoming taoiseach in a minority government.”

Katherine Zappone was the only Independent TD involved in roundtable discussions to vote in favour of Mr Kenny yesterday.

Speaking in the Dáil, Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance said it is now time for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to come together and hammer out a minority government deal.

“We are getting used to being love-bombed by both parties. The problem, however, is that neither of those parties will love-bomb each other,” he said.

“That is the difficulty. Whereas the channel of communication between the Independent Alliance and both parties is good, when they talk to each other the Civil War politics immediately emerges. That is unacceptable.

“Moves by us to bring these two sides together have either been ignored or deliberately misunderstood.”

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