Michael Staines
Michael Staines

13.48 26 Jun 2020


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Officials from the Green Party, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have begun counting their members’ votes on entering government together.

Fine Gael’s counters have the easiest job with around 700 votes to count while Fianna Fáil has more than 14,000.

Final results are expected at around 7pm this evening.

If all three parties get the green light, Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin will be elected Taoiseach at a special sitting of the Dáil tomorrow morning.

The Green Party has the highest mountain to climb – with a two-thirds majority needed to get the deal over the line.

Confident

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Green Party TD Roderic O’Gorman said there has been huge engagement with party members on the proposed deal, with the vast majority getting involved and casting their votes.

He said he expects the membership to approve the programme.

“In the last week or so, my own sense is that those in the Green Party were kind of making their call on which way to go late in this process,” he said.

“I think most of them are coming towards a yes, so while I think it will be tight and the two-thirds majority that our party requires is a steep hill to climb, I am feeling more confident today that we will get over the two-thirds and the Green Party membership will support this programme for government.”

"Fiery" debate

He noted that entering government would be a big decision for the Green Party and said the debate that has raged in recent weeks highlights how serious the party is taking it.

“As a party we have always encouraged debate and we have always encouraged people to give their take on important issues,” he said.

“This a massively important and it is absolutely legitimate that we have had this intensive debate within the party.

“Yeah definitively it has gotten fiery on occasion, but I think one of the big benefits from needing to get two thirds of the membership is that a decision is not taken on a knife edge.

“It is not 50% plus one where you are kind of dragging a reluctant chunk of the party. A two-thirds majority is a very clear endorsement of this programme for government if we reach later today.”

Membership

On the same show Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry said he understood members concerns with the deal but voiced hope it would be passed.

“In terms of the vote and the campaigning that has gone on in the last week with regard to the programme for government, we are a very large party with a large paid-up voting membership and naturally voices were diverse,” he said.

“It does represent change and it is historic. That is naturally difficult for some people to embrace. We totally appreciate that and we must listen to that.

“If the government is approved to go ahead today, the challenge will be that that government will become a government for all of the people and all party members.

“It is ultimately about the citizens of Ireland and that is what will come first.”

You can listen back to the full segment here:


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