Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Dáil will not hold votes for a new Taoiseach when it meets next week.

Sinn Féin TD’s Eoin O Broin, Louise O’Reilly, Pearse Doherty and Matt Carthy at Leinster House today. Pic: Collins

The Business Committee for the chamber decided there is no prospect of them being successful.

The Dáil is due to sit for a second time next Thursday but it has been decided not to hold votes to try and elect a new Taoiseach.

The Business Committee decided there would be no point as there is no chance of a government being elected in that time.

One member of the committee said it would only be playing games, and that the Dáil is not there to run a popularity contest.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said it is disappointing, adding: “Not that I expected that there would be an outcome to that process, but at least it’s a marking point, it’s a stage in the process, and failure to have that, to me, withdraws momentum.”

Instead, the Dáil will hear statements on the upcoming EU Council Meeting and the coronavirus.

It means the process of forming a government could be even longer than expected.

No Taoiseach being elected next week will see Leo Varadkar travel to Washington for the St Patrick’s Day meeting in the White House.

If serious negotiations on forming a government only start after that, it could be well after Easter before one is in place.

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