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Sunday 25 September 2016

Kenny rules out FF talks before key Dail vote

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out weekend talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail which were sought by Independent TDs.

Mr Kenny was speaking after 40 hours of talks over the last five days between Fine Gael, Independent TDs and several smaller groups of deputies.

He said this process had produced 15 different topic papers on areas such as rural development, health, housing, and other issues.

The Taoiseach said these papers would be worked on over the weekend in efforts to produce a draft Foundation Document for a Partnership Government.

Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten was among the Independents who urged weekend talks between the two big parties, saying they should use the time to agree ground rules on how a minority coalition could work - irrespective of who might lead it.

Minority

Mr Kenny again ruled out Fine Gael supporting a Fianna Fail-led minority government, while seeking that his rival party do just that for him.

He argued that Fine Gael had got biggest vote and the most seats in the general election on February 26. This meant it was his duty as Taoiseach to work to form a minority government.

Mr Kenny said Fine Gael and Fianna Fail will talk again after next Wednesday's Dail session. This will include a vote on Taoiseach and plans for major Dail reforms which would enhance the chances of a minority coalition providing stable government.

The Taoiseach refused to speculate on a time-frame much less set a deadline, for establishing a government.

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