Micheál Martin calls for extensive Dáil reform before new government is formed

The Fianna Fáil leader says the 32nd Dáil "should not represent more business as usual"

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Fianna Fáil Leader Micheal Martin attends the general election 2016 count at the City Hall in Cork. Image: Chris Radburn / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Fianna Fáil leader wants a month set aside for extensive Dáil reform before talks to form a new government start, saying the new Dáil "should not represent more business as usual".

Micheál Martin says that it should not be left to a new government to reform the Dáil, and that changes should be agreed before a new government takes office.

The proposed reforms call for an end to the rushing of legislation through the Oireachtas, the starting of an office to independently cost all government and opposition proposals brought to vote, and a limit on the government's control of parliamentary business.

Mr Martin also calls for the establishment of an office of Independent Legal Advisor to the Oireachtas and a new regulatory oversight process.

He says they want cross-party agreement on reforms before negotiations to form a new government begin.

The Fianna Fáil leader says, "this document is based on the principle of establishing a Dáil which is more expert and independent.

"Fianna Fáil has heard the electorate and its demand for fundamental change. We are responding to that demand in a constructive and positive way".

In a statement, Mr Martin also spoke of his party's performance in the election. They have secured 43 seats in the 32nd Dáil so far, compared to 47 for Fine Gael.

“In this election Fianna Fáil has won a substantial mandate for its programme," Mr Martin said.

"We secured the largest increase in first preference votes and seats of any party. However we also acknowledge that every one of the 158 members of the new Dáil carry their own mandate which should be respected," he added.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams says he does not 'trust' Fianna Fáil to reform the Dáil.

Gerry Adams was speaking after Fianna Fáil's Director of Elections said the party may publish a programme for parliament - which would see a government led by Fianna Fáil and supported by other TDs on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Adams says he has no faith in anything put forward by Micheál Martin:

Billy Kelleher, incoming Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central and Director of Elections, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast earlier about what options the party will face over the coming weeks.

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