Ireland Moves Closer to New Government With Green Party Talks

Ireland’s Green Party agreed to enter formal talks with the country’s two traditional major parties on forming a government, moving a step closer to a new administration almost three months after the general election.

The Green Party will start negotiations with the governing Fine Gael and main opposition Fianna Fail, it said in a statement on Sunday, citing “the huge challenges facing any government in the Covid-19 crisis.”

“The party will now work with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to develop a deal that respects our mandate with a view to presenting that agreement to Green Party members for approval,” it added.

The moves comes after the Feb. 8 election didn’t return a clear winner. Traditional rivals Fine Gael and Fianna Failagreed to try to form a government together last month, but progress has been slow as the country grapples with the coronavirus crisis, and the two parties don’t have enough seats to command a parliamentary majority, making a third coalition member vital. Talks with the Green Party may still break down.

A new government may still be some way away, and is unlikely to be formed this month, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday.

While Sinn Fein won thelargest vote share at the election, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail refuse to govern with Sinn Fein because of its former links to the IRA and its left-wing politics.

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