Almost five months after the General Election held on 8 February, a historic coalition deal has been approved by the memberships of the Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Green parties to allow a new government to be formed and the election of Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin TD as Taoiseach.
Under the terms of the coalition agreement, Micheál Martin TD will hold the position of Taoiseach until December 2022 before it passes back to Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, and ministerial posts will be divided between the three parties with Fianna Fáil to hold six full Cabinet posts, as will Fine Gael, and the Greens will get three.
In respective ballots of the party memberships, Fine Gael backed the programme for government with 80% voting in favour of the deal, Fianna Fáil members approved with 74% of members voting in favour, and the Greens, whose rules required a two-thirds majority for approval, also voted yes with 76% voting in favour.
A full sitting of the Dáil Éireann was subsequently convened on Saturday 27 June for the election of the Taoiseach. The sitting was exceptionally held in the Convention Centre, Dublin, as the Parliament cannot sit in Leinster House due to the need for social distancing if all TDs are present.
Micheál Martin was proposed and seconded for the position of Taoiseach, and then was confirmed by rollcall vote with the majority support of 93 of 160 TDs. He then travelled to receive his seal of office from President Micheal D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin.
Commenting on the election of Micheál Martin TD as Taoiseach today by the Dáil and the formation of a new coalition government in Ireland, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said:
“It is with pleasure that I welcome the election of Micheál Martin as Ireland’s next Taoiseach and the return of our member party Fianna Fáil to national government.”
“These are historic times for the Republic of Ireland and also historically challenging times for the European Union, but I am pleased to see that liberals are taking the lead and will help deliver a programme for government for the betterment of Ireland and its citizens.”
“I have written to congratulate Micheál on his election and I look forward to welcoming him to our next meeting with his fellow European Liberal Prime Ministers in the near future.”
Micheál Martin was first elected to Parliament in 1989 and has been the leader of Fianna Fáil since 2011. He continues the record that every Fianna Fáil leader has served as Taoiseach.