After parliamentary party meeting, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar says onus is on Sinn Féin to form a government and to deliver on “extraordinary promises” they made during election | Read more: https://t.co/laAIpB3mSV pic.twitter.com/fcyZSDUfXp
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 17, 2020
Leinster House, Dublin 2
Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar, speaks to the media after the PP’s meeting in Leinster House, to discuss the results of the recent General Election and their poor performance in which they came in third behind SF. He stated FG were preparing to go into Opposition.
Fine Gael has left open the possibility of a grand coalition with Fianna Fáil despite its TDs being unanimous in their desire to spend the next five years on the opposition benches.
But Taoiseach Leo Varadkar did not seek – and was not given – a mandate to open negotiations with any party on the formation of a new government for the moment.
Senior party figures told the Irish Independent that they intend to push Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil as far as they possibly can before “entering the game”.
…even if Micheál Martin convinced the Greens, Labour and Social Democrats to support him for Taoiseach he would still be dramatically short of a Dáil majority.
At this point Fine Gael is likely to mandate an intervention from Mr Varadkar in a move that will be portrayed as saving the country from going back to the polls…
“In light of Leo Varadkar’s statement yesterday evening, the Social Democrats have taken the decision to cancel today’s proposed meeting with Fine Gael.
“It is clear to all that FG are now engaged in a game-playing exercise & we refuse to participate in what is essentially theatrics by FG.
“While it was always the case that we were unlikely to find much common ground with FG, we intended to honour our commitment of engaging openly with all parties. Clearly FIne Gael’s intention is to engage in shadow-boxing for the coming weeks & we’ve no interest in participating in such a charade.”
Statement from the Social Democrats this morning.