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  • Even when Sinn Fen won the majority in the polls, it was excluded from the government

    Even when Sinn Fen won the majority in the polls, it was excluded from the government | Photo: AFP/Paul Faith

Published 15 June 2020
Opinion

This leaves aside left-wing republican party Sinn Fein, despite winning the popular vote in February.

The two main right-wing parties in Ireland, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, along with the Green Party, agreed Monday to govern in coalition with a rotating prime minister, leaving Sinn Fein out despite their big win in the polls in February.

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The agreement covers the next five years, with Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael ) and Micheal Martin (Fianna Fail) alternately holding the head of government. Varadkar, who has been acting as caretaker since his party was defeated at the polls, will take over as Prime Minister in December 2022, when Martin will finish his term.

This coalition involves 35 Fine Gael and 12 Green lawmakers along with Fianna Fail ones.

"We're going to have to learn to work with each other, we're going to have to learn to trust each other, but I know that's possible," Varadkar said on Fine Gael and Fianna Fail union, two parties with a historic rivalry.

This leaves aside left-wing republican party Sinn Fein, despite winning the popular vote in February. Its leader Mary Lou McDonald warned that " a government led by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail together does not represent the change that people voted for in February."

If ratified, the deal will make Sinn Fein the main opposition party for the first time.

"Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin set about excluding Sinn Fein from government talks and, in doing so, they excluded the demand for change that came from the people," McDonald denounced.

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