News Before It's News
About us | Ocnus? |

Front Page 
Click here for syndicated content
 Dark Side
 Defence & Arms
 Light Side

Dysfunctions Last Updated: Apr 30th, 2007 - 13:45:34

Irish PM Calls May Election, to Fight for 3rd Term
By Paul Hoskins, Reuters 29/4/07
Apr 30, 2007, 13:44

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Ireland has become one of Europe's wealthiest nations during Ahern's decade in power but polls show Fianna Fail and coalition partner, the pro-business Progressive Democrats, are neck-and-neck with the main opposition alternative.

"This election ... is about the country's future and protecting the progress we've made over the last decade and building on it," Ahern said in Dublin, rejecting opposition claims his Fianna Fail party is tired and short of fresh ideas.

The main opposition party, Fine Gael, has traditionally been smaller than Fianna Fail but has teamed up with the left-leaning Labour Party to try to prevent Ahern from becoming the first Irish prime minister to win a third consecutive term.

A Reuters poll of economists, also published on Sunday, showed all 10 of those surveyed believe it matters little or not at all to Ireland's future prosperity who wins the election given both sides are promising lower taxes and more spending.

Bookmaker Paddy Power predicted "one of the closest fought elections."


Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny expressed confidence his party would win.

"We've been waiting for five years for this ... I am really looking forward to this campaign," Kenny told reporters.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, who would become deputy prime minister and likely to hold a senior ministry such as finance if the opposition coalition triumphs, was also optimistic.

"People now know that we are going to have a real contest and that there is a real alternative," he said.

A former junior minister, Rabbitte also said his party still had plenty of experience even after so long in opposition.

Irish elections can be difficult to call given a constituency-based, proportional representation system that means local issues often upset trends in national opinion polls.

Pre-election pacts between parties can also quickly unravel once polling closes and the jockeying to form a coalition begins. One big unknown is the Green Party, which is also doing well in polls and has yet to declare who it might side with.

Paddy Power said Ahern was favorite to remain prime minister but Fine Gael and Labour, with the Green Party, are seen as the parties most likely to form the next government.

One card still up Ahern's sleeve is Northern Ireland where he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair played a key role in ending 30 years of sectarian violence and brokering a power sharing administration that will begin governing on May 8.

"Peace on this island is no longer a dream, it is reality," said Ahern, who has been invited to make a rare address to the British parliament next month before the election.

Source:Ocnus.net 2007

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
The Real Cause of the North-South Divide
Russia Faces Rougher Ride After French Vote
Tajikistan: Are Concerns About 'Islamic Extremism' Justified?
Capitol Hill Awash in Corruption and Criminality
School Scraps Nature Course As Pigs Enrage Muslim Pupils
White House Admits Holding Political Briefings
Bush Sr. To Celebrate Rev. Sun Myung Moon—Again
Character Flaw
Bush Sr. To Celebrate Rev. Sun Myung Moon—Again
Irish PM Calls May Election, to Fight for 3rd Term