FIANNA FÁIL MINISTERS ARE HOLDING an emergency meeting this evening after the Green Party announced today that it wants a general election to be called in January.
Responding to rumours earlier this evening that Brian Cowen was seeking to meet President Mary McAleese tonight, the Department of the Taoiseach told TheJournal.ie that it had heard nothing about a Dáil dissolution.
A growing number of Fianna Fáil backbenchers are calling for Cowen’s resignation. Speaking on RTÉ’s Liveline today, TD Sean Power said the Taoiseach should announce his intention to resign. Chris Andrews and Noel O’Flynn have also joined in calls for Cowen to step down.
At a surprise press conference this morning, Green Party leader John Gormley said his party would remain in government until after the budget next month, but wanted a general election to be called for the second half of January.
Minister Brian Lenihan had earlier denied that the Greens were considering pulling out of government, but Green TD Paul Gogarty tweeted just moments before Gormley’s announcement that the party was making a statement on “a decision we made on Saturday”. RTÉ’s lunchtime news reported that Gormley only informed Cowen of the party’s plan minutes before the announcement.
The government’s narrow majority has been seriously threatened by Independent TDs Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae saying they are “unlikely” to vote in favour of the Budget next month.
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