Irish Republican News · September 19, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Parties seen aligning ahead of election
Parties seen aligning ahead of election

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Sinn Fein has said it is preparing for government in the 26 Counties and has refused to rule out any potential coalition partners following the forthcoming general election.

Party leader Gerry Adams said his party is ready to contest the election, due by next Spring at the latest, and urged the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to go to the people as soon as possible.

He said the 26 County state needed a government which was not led by Fine Gael or Fianna Fail.

“These two conservative parties have dominated politics here since partition,” Mr Adams said.

“Citizens need a progressive government which will pursue viable policies based on equality not on austerity, based on rights not on privilege and which will govern in the interests of citizens as opposed to the interests of the elite.”

In recent newspaper interviews, Sinn Fein leaders have said they will go into government with any party who has the mandate from the electorate “but not at any cost”.

Last week, his deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said there were ‘red line issues’, such as water and property tax, for Sinn Fein when entering any possible coalition government in the future.

Senior members of Fianna Fail, Labour and Fine Gael have all ruled out going into government with Sinn Fein. But Mr Adams said it was too early to speculate on the formation of the new government.

He said: “Sinn Fein could fall flat on our face, Fine Gael could be wiped out. Anything can happen. Let’s wait until the people have their say. the people.”

He said his party would not become the Labour Party and he would not become Eamon Gilmore, referring to the former Labour leader’s optimistic campaign to become Taoiseach at the last election.

He said: “There will be an election. I am not Eamon Gilmore. Sinn Fein is not the Labour Party.

“We are not going to go flying about saying Gerry Adams for Taoiseach or any of that nonsense. We will take the people very very seriously.

“If we get a mandate, if we can negotiate a programme for government which is acceptable to other parties and of course to us and if it reflects our mandate then the business of who will lead this government will be a case for negotiation. Might my name be in that? It may well be but lets leave it until after.”

PACTS EMERGE

The current coalition partners, Fine Gael and Labour, have already negotiated a vote-transfer pact in an attempt to return to power. Bookmakers give them little chance, but put short odds on the once unimaginable coalition between the two civil war parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

Non-aligned candidates and smaller parties should make big gains in the general election. Two small left-wing parties, People before Profit and the Anti-Austerity Alliance, said this week they will contest the next election under a single banner.

In a press release on Wednesday, they set out the rationale behind the new party: “With the backdrop of a radicalisation in Irish society, a growing rejection of the traditional establishment parties, and in particular, the active movement against water charges, the left can make gains in the upcoming election.”

The move is a clear attempt to capitalise on the increased left-wing vote and the decline in support for Joan Burton’s Labour party.

Gerry Adams described Labour’s failures under Burton and Gilmore as “stark” and a “capitulation” to Fine Gael.

“Labour Ministers have been the most enthusiastic proponents of vicious cuts to the welfare of ordinary families,” he said. “As a senior Cabinet member, Joan Burton oversaw the implementation of water charges, the Property Tax, cuts to child benefit, removal of medical cards, cuts to health and welfare, and a succession of stealth taxes.”

He said the centre-right parties were scared of the mass momentum his party was building, and that Sinn Fein offered the “principled, equality-based politics of republicanism” as opposed to the old politics of ‘strokes’ and privilege.

“When the Taoiseach has the guts to call an election, Sinn Fein will contest every constituency. We will fight every contest to win,” he said.

© 2015 Irish Republican News