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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Irish president calls elections
Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern faces an uphill struggle for re-election
Irish President Mary McAleese has dissolved the country's parliament in preparation for a general election to be held on 24 May.

The move was requested by Prime Minister Bertie Ahern as he seeks a third term in power.

Elections are held every five years, and this year's poll must take place by early June.

Opinion polls suggest a tight race, correspondents say, with no potential coalition having a clear lead.

Ms McAleese, who is leaving for a week-long visit to the US later on Sunday, said the new parliament would convene on 14 June to elect a new government.




SEE ALSO
Profile: Bertie Ahern
03 Oct 06 |  Europe
Bertie Ahern 'still the man to beat'
26 Dec 06 |  Northern Ireland
Country profile: Ireland
16 Feb 07 |  Country profiles

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