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Irish Ruling Party to Form New Coalition After Labour Party Suffers Defeat

© Flickr / European ParliamentIrish Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny - Sputnik International
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Ireland’s conservative Fine Gael party, which remains the country’s biggest party after general elections last week, will form a coalition government with parties other than Labour, which suffered a crushing defeat.

LONDON (Sputnik) – With all but two of the legislature’s 158 seats filled as of late Tuesday, Labour saw its mandates drop from 37 five years ago to six.

Fine Gael lost 17, finishing with 49 seats. Its main rival, the Republican Fianna Fail party, more than doubled its seat count from 21 to 44 mandates.

A picture shows campaign posters for the parliamentary elections on lamposts in Dublin, Ireland, on February 21, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The head of the Irish government, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said earlier in the day he was ready to engage fully with other parties and 17 elected independent lawmakers.

Kenny is expected to remain in his post until a new coalition is formed, then most likely join Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for the leadership race.

Sinn Fein placed third in the February 26 polls with 23 seats, nine more than in the last legislature.

The new parliament is scheduled to convene on March 10.

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