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Tanaiste hopes framework document will ‘persuade’ others to join government

Simon Coveney said parties would have to be different after the health crisis.

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Micheal Martin, Simon Coveney and Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/Leon Farrell/Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin, Simon Coveney and Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/Leon Farrell/Brian Lawless/PA)

Micheal Martin, Simon Coveney and Alan Kelly (Brian Lawless/Leon Farrell/Brian Lawless/PA)

Simon Coveney said the framework document being worked on by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will attempt to persuade other parties to join a coalition government.

The Tanaiste said that both parties recognise that a difference type of governance is needed to steer Ireland out of the health crisis.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are working to put together a document they hope to use as road to government formation.

The document will be circulated to other political parties within the next week.

Mr Coveney said: “Certainly I think it’s possible for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael working with Independents and independent groups to form a majority but that is not the kind of government that we are looking to create.

“We want to try to include other political parties outside Fine Gael and Fianna Fail as well.

It's amazing that Keynesian economics is back in fashionAlan Kelly

“That’s why we have focused on trying to put a framework document together which I think will certainly attempt to persuade parties like the Green Party, the Social Democrats and the Labour party, that actually politics is going to be different, that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael recognise that the combination of what is being asked of us in a general election, and a national public health emergency, demands a different kind of government and different kind of governance in Ireland.

“One thing that this crisis is reinforcing in many people’s minds is that there does need to be increased roles in the State in protecting people and their well being, not just in terms of healthcare but also in terms of their economic interest.”

He also said he does not believe a government of national unity will work, adding that Ireland needs a “strong and stable government” for the next five years.

He made the comments after Labour leader Alan Kelly says he does not expect his party to enter a new government coalition.

The newly-elected leader said the party is not in a position to enter government with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

He said that while Labour will “talk to anybody who wants to talk to us”, the focus is on the parties that secured a large number of seats.

Speaking to RTE’s Morning Ireland programme, Mr Kelly said: “Simply put, there are four large parties, any three of which could form a government. It is up to them to do so.

“The Green Party got a large mandate of 12 seats, and obviously climate change is the big agenda item once we get over Covid (-19).

“It’s quite disappointing that it seems that they are not willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and stay on the pitch and get involved in this.”

Government formation talks between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are still ongoing, two months after the general election.

I think the way in which Ireland is going to have to come out of this is going to have to embrace a lot of things that the Labour Party stood for over the last number of yearsLabour leader Alan Kelly

Mr Kelly said, however, that he believes the Labour party will play a “huge part” in shaping Ireland’s recovery.

“I think the world has changed. I think politics has changed,” he added.

“It’s amazing that Keynesian economics is back in fashion.

“I think the way in which Ireland is going to have to come out of this is going to have to embrace a lot of things that the Labour Party stood for over the last number of years, in relation to housing and childcare, in relation to a one-tier health system, in relation to a rent freeze, which I’ve advocated for many years.”

Mr Kelly also said that even if Labour added its six seats, there still would not be enough to form a majority government.

He added: “It’s my job to ensure we will not be swamped, we will be different and I aspire to doing so, to making us very, very relevant, punching way above our weight into the future, but I also want to say we need a strong opposition into the future.”

He said there is a need for a strong opposition as the Government is going to have to make difficult decisions.

PA