Sinn Fein urges EU to back united Ireland bid after poll surge

12 February 2020
436 Views

Sinn Fein called on the European Union on Tuesday to back its bid for a united Ireland after a surge in support saw it become the second-largest party in parliament at weekend elections.

The result has shaken up the political landscape in the EU member state, with Sinn Fein – once shunned because of its links to IRA paramilitaries – also the second biggest party across the border in British-ruled Northern Ireland.

When counting from Saturday’s poll finished in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the nationalist left-wing Sinn Fein had secured 37 of the 160 seats in the Dail, Ireland’s lower house of parliament.

Center-right party Fianna Fail was only one seat ahead with 38 while Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael took 35 – a result likely to topple the premier from office.

If a new government is to be formed when the Dail reconvenes on February 20, it must contain multiple parties. Talks have already begun to thrash out a coalition.

Sinn Fein wants a central role in power after winning 24.5 percent of first preferences in Ireland’s single transferable vote system – the largest of any party.

Its leader Mary Lou McDonald has already talked to smaller left-wing parties to try to determine whether it is possible to form a government without the two main center-right parties.

Source: AFP

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