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Green Party leader hopeful government can be formed

Eamon Ryan has urged party members to support the proposed programme for government.

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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has urged party members to support the proposed programme for government (PA)

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has urged party members to support the proposed programme for government (PA)

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has urged party members to support the proposed programme for government (PA)

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he hopes a government can be formed as he urged party members to approve the draft programme for government.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party have been balloting members on proposals to form a new administration which took five weeks to put together.

The outcome of the votes among the three parties will be announced on Friday.

Mr Ryan said it is a “leap” to bring the members of all parties on board and said he believes Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will work with the Green Party to make changes on climate policy.

The Green Party has the highest threshold of the three parties, with a two-thirds majority needed to secure approval.

He said: “Irish people are waiting to see if a government can be formed, I hope it can. If it doesn’t then the political system will be in a difficult situation. We will work our way out of it one way or another.

“The key thing is, people are still deciding and ballots are still being sent in. I’m asking members of the Green Party to vote Yes. I respect people on the No side but I am advocating for a Yes.”

Among proposals agreed by party leaders is a commitment to an average 7% reduction in carbon emissions annually over the next decade.

Mr Ryan said while a two-thirds majority is a high bar to pass the programme for government, it would lead to a more united party.

He said he has not looked beyond Friday and no-one has agreed what will happen if the programme for government is rejected by the Green Party.

Asked if he would step down as leader if the deal is voted down by party members, he told RTE Morning Ireland: “I haven’t looked beyond Friday afternoon. If it is not agreed, the wider political system will have to come up with some alternative – my focus will be on that first and foremost and the national interest.”

The leaders of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have said there is no “plan B” if the deal does not pass and they warned of a political crisis.

Mr Ryan said no-one has discussed or agreed what the alternative approach would be if the deal is rejected and working out an alternative would have to be “a very rapid turnaround over the next weekend”.

PA