Belfast Telegraph

No election in 2017, predicts Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny has ruled out the chance of voters going back to the polls in 2017.

Although he admitted his biggest challenge over the past year was getting a government together, he remains optimistic it will last at least another year.

"I do not see an election at all in the very foreseeable future," he said.

"We have a three-year Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Fianna Fail party, with a review at the end of 2018.

"We have 600 tasks in the Programme for Government and we are getting on with that business, and the last thing on my mind is the thought of a general election."

Mr Kenny added: "We are far too busy, working in the interests of the people to contemplate that."

In an end of year briefing, the Taoiseach accepted he was forced to work hard to pull together a minority government when Fianna Fail spurned his approach for a coalition during months of negotiations after February's General Election.

But seven months into his Fianna Fail-backed minority administration he said he was glad that had happened.

"Now I would say that this has been a learning experience for everybody," he added.

"I have learned a great deal myself about how it is necessary to think differently, to present things differently."

Mr Kenny said his next biggest challenge is to keep the government going, which will require "constant vigilance and engagement" with people.

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