Cowen calls March election

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen has announced the General Election for March 11.

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen has announced the General Election for March 11.

Mr Cowen also confirmed to the Dáil that the Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe is stepping down and will not contest the next General Election.

In his announcement, the Taoiseach re-assigned the vacant ministerial portfolios to existing members of the Cabinet.

The Taoiseach has reassigned the five vacant cabinet portfolios as follows:

Dept of Health - Tánaiste and Education Minister, Mary Coughlan

Dept of Transport - Minister for Community and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey

Dept of Justice - Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith

Dept of Enterprise - Tourism Minister, Mary Hanafin

Dept of Defence - Social Affairs Minister, Eamon O'Cuiv

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