The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, on Thursday presented his resignation after the Lower House of the National Parliament (Dáil) has not reached a consensus to appoint a head of government after the elections on February 8.
The leader of the leftist Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, was the candidate with the most votes, 45, although she did not get enough support to be elected, while the leader of the centrist Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, obtained 41, and Varadkar, at front of the Democrat Fine Gael, added 36 votes.
The chief executive, who will continue to hold the position on an interim basis until a successor is appointed, presented his resignation during a meeting with the country’s president, Michael Higgins, RTE public television reported.
The Irish Parliament met today for the first time after the elections of two weeks ago, in which no party achieved a clear majority and the ruling Fine Gael was relegated to third force (20.9% of the vote), behind Fianna Fáil (22.2%) and Sinn Féin, former political arm of the now inactive IRA (24.5%).
The formations have begun contacts to try to set up a coalition government, but for now the two biggest parties refuse to join an Executive with Sinn Féin.
After the blockade in which the first session ended to try to appoint a new prime minister, parliamentarians suspended the session until next March 5, giving the main leaders a margin of two weeks to try to bring positions closer.
Varadkar said that his administration will continue during that time in operation but will avoid, as far as possible, take important political decisions and commit large amounts of funds.
“It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure good governance and, of course, good opposition. I believe that those who have made huge promises of change to citizens in these elections have the greatest duty. They have been entrusted with the mandate to approve a government program, “said the Christian leader before the deputies.
“If they can’t do it, they should say it clearly and be honest about their failures and the empty promises they have made,” Varadkar added before addressing the meeting with Higgins at which he submitted the resignation.