The New York Times is reporting that the Green Party in Ireland has abandoned the governing coalition, leaving it without a majority.
The Greens’ leader, John Gormley, said Mr. Cowen’s flurry of moves to keep himself in office had ruptured the “trust” on which the coalition rested.
“Our patience has reached an end,” Mr. Gormley said.
The loss of the six Green votes in the 166-seat lower house of the Irish Parliament left the Cowen government without a majority. It also put the government at high risk of being voted out of office this week before securing passage of legislation to authorize steep tax increases and spending cuts required by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank as part of the bailout plan.
In a statement at the Green Party of Ireland’s website, Gormley states:
It has been a very rare privilege to serve in government. It would of course have been preferable if our time in government had not coincided with the worst economic downturn in our nation’s history. It has meant having to take the most difficult decisions that any party could have faced.
We did so it was because it was the right thing to do.
I am proud of our many achievements in the areas of planning, renewable energy, energy-standards of buildings, water conservation and other environmental areas. I’m proud that we gave rights to gay couples through civil partnership, and that we persisted in our belief that education and the arts should be protected. These two areas are absolutely vital for our economic recovery.
I regret obviously that we did not have more time to complete our other legislation, which is very well advanced.
The BBC is reporting
Green Party leader John Gormley: “The Irish people have begun to lose confidence in politics”
The Republic of Ireland’s Green Party is pulling out of the ruling coalition, a move expected to bring forward the general election due on 11 March.
The Greens’ announcement wipes out the ruling coalition’s two-seat majority and puts into question the passage of a vital finance bill.
We had reported earlier here that the Irish Greens would remain in the government until the passage of the finance bill mentioned above, and that Greens were willing to remain in government to push for adoption of climate change legislation.