Page last updated at 08:30 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 09:30 UK

No confidence motion before Dail

Brian Cowen faces a vote of no confidence in his government
Brian Cowen faces a vote of no confidence in his government

The Irish Parliament is due to debate a motion of no confidence in the government later on Tuesday.

It follows a collapse in support for Fianna Fáil and the Greens in the local and European elections.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said the coalition parties no longer had a mandate to govern.

But Ministers have said they will continue in office. Opposition leaders also called for a general election.

Tuesday's cabinet is due to agree a counter motion to the Fine Gael measure, which will be backed by Labour.

Mr Kenny led Fine Gael to its first-ever victory over Fianna Fáil in a national election, with his party winning a greater share of the vote in both the local and European elections.

Fine Gael won about 120 more council seats than Fianna Fáil, making it the biggest party in local government.

Enda Kenny said the coalition had no mandate
Enda Kenny' party won a greater share of the vote than Fianna Fail

Labour won three seats in the European Parliament - the same number as Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael won four seats in Europe.

The motion of no confidence will be put to a vote on Wednesday.

Mr Kenny said the motion reflected his deep-rooted belief that Brian Cowen should have sought a mandate from the people when he was appointed Taoiseach.

"I can tell you now, that from every constituency I've been in in the last six weeks, the people do want a general election," he told the Irish Times.

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said Fianna Fáil still had a mandate to remain in power despite the election results.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore accused Mr Ahern of "defying the will of the Irish people" and he called on Fianna Fáil and the Green Party to reflect on the results.

Meanwhile, Mr Cowen and Green Party leader John Gormley are likely to launch the process of reviewing the programme for government.

The depleted Green Party needs a result from this re-negotiation, which is likely to get under way in the next few weeks.



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