'Country needs a majority government': Leo Varadkar urges support for new draft deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has vowed to stand by his environmental commitments as he urged the parties to form a working government.
'Country needs a majority government': Leo Varadkar urges support for new draft deal

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has vowed to stand by his environmental commitments as he urged the parties to form a working government.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have been balloting members on proposals to form a new administration which took some five weeks to put together.

The outcome of votes among the three parties will be announced on Friday.

Mr Varadkar said: “I have been on the record that I believe the country needs a majority government.

“We are heading into what could be a very difficult recession during which difficult decisions will have to be made and also a lot of reforms need to be made to our public services.

“What is in the country’s interest is a working Government.”

The Green Party has the highest threshold of the three parties, with a two-thirds majority needed to secure approval.

Among proposals agreed by party leaders is a commitment to an average 7% reduction in carbon emissions annually over the next decade.

The Taoiseach vowed: “We are not going to walk away from that.

“The changes in policies that we have made around climate action we will stand by them.”

Mr Varadkar appeared on RTÉ Prime Time on Tuesday evening.

Legislation to renew the non-jury Special Criminal Court needs to be passed by Tuesday.

The Taoiseach said alternatives to forming a government were not appealing.

He said: “Much better is what we have been working on for weeks and weeks and that is putting together a coalition involving the three parties that can give the country a good government for five years.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has said a second general election in 2020

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If the deal was voted down, Mr Martin said his party would talk to Independent TDs about forming a government.

He added: “If the Green Party don’t back the programme for government then then we will not have secured the necessary backing and clearly won’t have the support of a majority in the Dáil.

“We are in a political crisis and I don’t think there is a solution to it in the short term.

“There is no magic plan B.” Mr Martin ruled out Sinn Féin, but not the Social Democrats and Labour Party as potential alternative coalition partners to the Greens.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said that if the agreement fails to garner enough support, she will speak to other parties.

Sinn Féin won the popular vote in February’s election.

Ms McDonald’s party failed to establish a left-wing coalition because they did not secure enough numbers to reach the 80 seats required for a Dáil majority.

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