Politics

Varadkar crisis: Disaster looms as shock opposition threatens to DEMOLISH hopes for power

LEO Varadkar’s hopes of forming a grand coalition to stay in power have been dashed by a possible No vote from Green Party members in Northern Ireland.

Recently the leaders of Fianna Fail, The Green Party, and Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael decided to form a coalition government four months after the general election that saw Sinn Fein take the majority of votes but not enough to rule without support from another party and independents. The Irish Dáil Éireann is a 160 seat assembly, and current Taoiseach Mr Varadkar hopes to seal a deal that will ensure his party maintains power. Currently, opposition leader Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil has agreed to the coalition, but Mr Varadkar also needs the Green Party under leader Eamon Ryan.

Mr Ryan has agreed to the plan, but the proposed coalition needs to be ratified by Green Party members in Northern Ireland.

A two-thirds majority of Greens who are registered to vote is required to ratify the deal.

Frustrating Mr Varadkar’s designs is the Northern Ireland Green Party leader, Ms Claire Bailey.

Ms Bailey has announced that she cannot support the arrangement.

In an open letter, Ms Bailey said: “Its a deal that was negotiated in good faith but fails to deliver on our promise to tackle homelessness and provide better healthcare. It sets out an inadequate and vague pathway towards climate action”.

Ms Bailey is not the only Green Party member from Northern Ireland with reservations about the plan.

Other members of the Green Party in Northern Ireland have expressed concerns about certain aspects of Mr Varadkar’s plan.

Former Ards and North Down councillor John Barry, who remains a party member, had already said he would be urging the Greens to reject it.

A ballot of all three parties will take place, with the results due next Friday.

The Green Party had 12 representatives elected to the Dáil, Irish Parliament, in February’s election.

Many have called for the Green’s and Ms Bailey to not block the formation of this government.

They site the urgent need for stable governance, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

One comment on Twitter said: “Its a pity that only 185 of 800 members in the North actually registered to vote!

“However I do detect a slight groundswell against the deal which might prevent a 2/3 majority being reached.

“What happens then?

“One can only speculate but a general election more likely than not.”

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