Four candidates fail to get elected as Taoiseach

By Daniel McConnell, Political Editor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has failed in his bid to be re-elected as expected.

The veteran Mayo TD still hopes to form a government in the coming weeks.

Mr Kenny was rejected by a margin of 94 votes to 57 votes, while five abstained.

A total of 50 Fine Gael TDs were re-elected to the 32nd Dáil, while the seven members of the Labour Party also supported Mr Kenny's bid.

The five abstentions in the Enda Kenny vote were TDs Michael Harty, Noel Grealish, Denis Naughten, Michael Collins and Mattie McGrath.

Mattie McGrath and the four other independent TDs said they will abstain on each vote for Taoiseach in an indication they are willing to hold further coalition talks.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also failed in his bid to be the next Taoiseach. His votes stood at: For 43, Against 108, 5 Abstain.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams also failed in his bid. The votes stood at: For 24, Against 116.

The final candidate for Taoiseach was Richard Boyd-Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance, and his votes stood at: 9 For, Against 111, 36 Abstain.

After the votes, Mr Kenny travelled to Aras an Uachtarain to officially tender his resignation to President Michael D Higgins.

"Let me assure the Irish people that a government remains in place," he said.

"I and my Cabinet colleagues will continue to work hard in the best interests of the country and all the people."

Amid the uncertainty about a future administration, Mr Kenny will continue with official duties representing the country at a meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington on St Patrick's Day and at the European Council meeting in Brussels next week.

The Dáil will now adjourn and talks will take place to see if a Government can be put together in the coming weeks.

KEYWORDS: dail, taoiseach, politics


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