Sinn Fein leads Ireland election as counting continues
Counting continues in Ireland late Sunday following yesterday’s general election, with three parties projected to receive a very close number of votes.
Share It :
Sinn Fein is leading with 24.5%, leaving behind two traditionally big parties.
Party leader Mary Lou McDonald described the election victory as a “revolution”.
“This is no longer a two-party system,” she said.
She said she would try to form a ruling coalition with other parties.
McDonald said she wants to attempt to become the next taoiseach (Irish prime minister) leading a left-wing government with the Green Party, Social Democrats and Solidarity-People Before Profit party, excluding current Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party and Micheal Martin’s Fianna Fail party.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have received 22.2% and 20.9 % respectively.
Speaking to the local press in Dublin, Varadkar reiterated that they would not go into a coalition government with Sinn Fein.
“For us, a coalition with Sinn Fein is not an option, but we are willing to talk to other parties,” he said.
The turnout for Saturday’s election is expected to be between 60% and 65% despite Storm Ciara, which is affecting life adversely.
Ireland faces a housing crisis as the number of homeless has hit 10,000.
Healthcare also faces serious challenges as patients can wait as long as 17 hours to be examined in hospital emergency rooms.
The results so far are close to the exit poll which predicted all three parties would have around 22% of first preference votes.
Sinn Fein, the political wing of the dissolved Irish Republican Army (IRA), has been campaigning for a unified Ireland.
The IRA had run a bombing and assassination campaign for decades before a peace deal was reached in 1998.
The period known as the Troubles was a three-decade span of sectarian violence between Catholic Irish nationalists and Protestant U.K. loyalists which left more than 3,500 people dead.
Sinn Fein, under its previous leader Gerry Adams, has been the political wing of the IRA.
The 1998 Belfast Agreement -- a peace deal dubbed the Good Friday Agreement -- largely saw the end of Troubles-era violence, but IRA splinter groups remain active in Northern Ireland.