In Ireland, attempt at a coalition government without Sinn Fein

The two main traditional Irish center-right parties and the Greens agreed on Tuesday to try to form a government without the nationalist party Sinn Fein, which led the popular vote in the legislative elections in February.

“The leaders of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens met today and agreed to start formal negotiations with a view to forming a government,” a spokesman for the Fianna Fail.

Negotiations should start on Thursday, while the provisional government is struggling with the crisis of the new coronavirus, which has already killed 1319 people in the country.

Since the February 8 elections, which did not lead to a clear majority, the outgoing Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has taken over the interim.

His party, the Finn Gael, suffered a severe defeat, arriving in third place with 35 seats on 160. Its historic rival, Fianna Fail, won the largest number of deputies, with 38 seats.

The big surprise of this election came from the historic breakthrough of the nationalist party Sinn Fein, favorable to the reunification of Ireland, which won the popular vote with , 5% of the vote, thus ending a century of political alternation between the two main centrist parties.

Sinn Fein has become the second political force in Parliament, with 37 seats.

But this party, formerly considered as the political showcase of the Ira, a paramilitary group opposed to the British presence in Northern Ireland, failed to find enough allies to form a coalition of 80 deputies, necessary to form a government.

Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Verts have three 85 deputies.