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Coalition between FF and FG would bring 'same-old, same-old' government - Ó Cuív

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 4 days ago Cormac McQuinn

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin talks to media after the announcement of voting results, at a count centre during Ireland's national election, in Cork, Ireland, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls © Catalyst Images Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin talks to media after the announcement of voting results, at a count centre during Ireland's national election, in Cork, Ireland, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls A coalition between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would be "thwarting the wishes of the electorate" and result in a "same-old, same-old" government it has been claimed.

Senior Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuív made the remarks as he set out why he is "totally opposed" to a deal between Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Mr Ó Cuív was among Fianna Fáil Tds who spoke out against the prospect of such an arrangement at a private meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party yesterday.

General election 2020: Ireland's historic election (Photo Services)

At the meeting the party agreed to rule out a deal with Sinn Féin and to seek talks with all other parties.

Today Mr Ó Cuív told Independent.ie that he accepts that Fianna Fáil won't go into government with Sinn Féin.

But he added: "I am totally opposed to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael effectively thwarting the wishes of the electorate by going into government and giving the same-old, same-old."

Mr Ó Cuív said that Fianna Fáil has ruled out a coalition with Sinn Féin and that the only remaining proposal on the table would be a coalition with Fine Gael and the Green Party.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald celebrates with supporters after topping the poll in Dublin central at the RDS count center in Dublin, Ireland, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. The Sinn Fein leader was celebrating as her party made major gains in the country's general election. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) © Catalyst Images Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald celebrates with supporters after topping the poll in Dublin central at the RDS count center in Dublin, Ireland, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. The Sinn Fein leader was celebrating as her party made major gains in the country's general election. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

"I feel that that should be rejected," he said.

Mr Ó Cuív said that if it is rejected "we have to start thinking it all out again. It will be the 160 members of Dáil Éireann that will have to think again."

He said that while he respects all of the other TDs in the Dáil his reason for being opposed to the Fine Gael option is that he does not agree with their "conservative policies".

Asked if he would serve as a minister in such an administration, Mr Ó Cuív said: "We haven’t got as far as that. I’m not presuming that Fianna Fáil will endorse this."

The count continues into its second day at the Dublin City count centre in the RDS centre in Dublin, Ireland on February 10, 2020, two days after the vote took place in the Irish General Election. - After all 39 constituencies across Ireland were tallied Sinn Fein received 24.5 percent of the first preference vote, outstripping the opposition Fianna Fail party on 22.2 percent and incumbent prime minister Leo Varadkar's governing Fine Gael party on 20.9 percent. Ireland operates on a single transferable vote system and Sinn Fein ran a slate of just 42 candidates for the 159 seats contested, meaning its strong performance may not result in it becoming the biggest party in Ireland's next parliament. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images) © Catalyst Images The count continues into its second day at the Dublin City count centre in the RDS centre in Dublin, Ireland on February 10, 2020, two days after the vote took place in the Irish General Election. - After all 39 constituencies across Ireland were tallied Sinn Fein received 24.5 percent of the first preference vote, outstripping the opposition Fianna Fail party on 22.2 percent and incumbent prime minister Leo Varadkar's governing Fine Gael party on 20.9 percent. Ireland operates on a single transferable vote system and Sinn Fein ran a slate of just 42 candidates for the 159 seats contested, meaning its strong performance may not result in it becoming the biggest party in Ireland's next parliament. (Photo by PAUL FAITH / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

He said his understanding is a coalition with Fine Gael would have to be put before a Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis for members to have their say.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald spoke about the prospect of a deal between Mr Martin and Mr Varadkar saying it is "farcical" to suggest that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael together represent change.

She said: "I think it is actually quite disgraceful that the old boys’ club of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael believe that they can set aside the democratic mandate of Sinn Féin.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 10: Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Fein greets supporters In Dublin City Centre on February 10, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. Ireland has gone to the polls following Taoiseach Leo Varadkars decision to call a snap election. In the last general election, no party came close to a majority and it took 10 weeks of negotiations to form a government with Varadkars party Fine Gael eventually forming a coalition with Fianna Fail. Sinn Fein and their leader Mary Lou McDonald have made a late surge and could become the largest party according to the latest opinion polls. In order to win an outright majority and govern alone, parties need to win 80 seats - many political experts have predicted another hung parliament with exit polls showing the three main parties deadlocked. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Catalyst Images DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 10: Mary Lou McDonald, President of Sinn Fein greets supporters In Dublin City Centre on February 10, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland. Ireland has gone to the polls following Taoiseach Leo Varadkars decision to call a snap election. In the last general election, no party came close to a majority and it took 10 weeks of negotiations to form a government with Varadkars party Fine Gael eventually forming a coalition with Fianna Fail. Sinn Fein and their leader Mary Lou McDonald have made a late surge and could become the largest party according to the latest opinion polls. In order to win an outright majority and govern alone, parties need to win 80 seats - many political experts have predicted another hung parliament with exit polls showing the three main parties deadlocked. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"I have no sense of entitlement to anything but I can tell you this much, the people who vote for us, the people who represent hundreds of thousands of them are entitled to respect."

MORE ON THE ELECTION:

Varadkar urged to back FF to shut out SF (Independent.ie)

FF and FG coalition a slap in the face of electorate, says Mary Lou McDonald (Extra.ie)

SF to devise plan on ministerial salaries (Independent.ie)

Martin not ruling out another election (PA)

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