Greens rule out talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael

Green Party TDs have firmly ruled out any government formation talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael as the Covid-19 crisis continues, insisting a unity or national government is required.
Greens rule out talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael
Roderic O'Gorman

Green Party TDs have firmly ruled out any government formation talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael as the Covid-19 crisis continues, insisting a unity or national government is required.

The party has come in for criticism for advocating a cross-party government at a time of national crisis, but TDs have argued that rather than cause confusion, such a government would address the pressing issues facing the country.

“Our focus is on the unity government, it gives an element of continuity in terms key ministries, but it also allows us deal with the constitutional issue of the Seanad,” Roderic O'Gorman a TD for Dublin West told the Irish Examiner.

Echoing Mr O Gorman's position, Neasa Hourigan, the party's Dáil whip said they have reached a clear consensus that they will not be considering anything other than a national government.

“We will not be engaging in anything other than discussions for unity or national government,” she said.

“We have decided as a group there will be no other type of decision from our side,” she said.

The party has rejected the option of a narrower coalition involving Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, or with Independents, she said.

Green TDs have stated that current key Ministers like Simon Harris, Simon Coveney and Paschal Donohoe should remain in place but ministers who have lost their seats such as Katherine Zappone, Shane Ross and Regina Doherty should be replaced.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein say their talks to form a left coalition are still ongoing.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said that although they have been a "logistical nightmare", as many TDs are at home and have been advised not to leave, they remain confident talks will continue.

"We're basically speaking to people over the phone and whenever people can," he said.

"Although now it looks like it will be another version of a Fine Gael, Fianna Fail coalition, the election cannot count for nothing, that's not what people voted for."

The likelihood of such a left coalition is slim, but possible, if one of the other major parties agreed to abstain in votes, in a type of "reverse confidence and supply", and the left progressive parties such as Social Democrats, The Labour Party, The Greens and People Before Profit all agreed on a programme for government with Sinn Fein.

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