Ireland’s center-right Fianna Fáil party will attempt to form a government without the left-wing nationalist Sinn Féin, a party member told the media.
“We gave the party leader license to speak to whoever he needs to speak to, with the exception of a Sinn Fein,” senior Fianna Fáil lawmaker Niall Collins said.
Ireland held a general election on 8 February, just one week after neighboring Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Fianna Fáil won the most seats in the election, with Sinn Féin, the former political wing of the IRA, closely behind. Sinn Féin secured the most votes, but its total of 37 seats is one fewer than Fianna Fáil’s 38 seats in the 160-seat parliament.
In order to form a government, 80 seats are required, and no single party has that number. Even if both parties join forces, they would still need to coalesce with other parties or independents.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s centre-right Fine Gael, who was third by the number of votes it won in the election, has already ruled out governing with Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin managed to successfully win the public sympathies, promising to address the shortage of housing, rocketing rents and homelessness crisis, issues that Fine Gael was criticized for not solving.