Enda Kenny re-elected as Ireland's prime minister

He is the first Fine Gael leader in history to secure two terms in power back to back

Samuel Osborne
Friday 06 May 2016 23:07
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Taoiseach Enda Kenny is re-elected as Irish Prime Minister

Enda Kenny has been re-elected as Ireland's Taoiseach, leading his Fine Gael party into a minority government.

Mr Kenny is the first Fine Gael leader in history to secure two terms in power back to back.

He secured the support of a diverse group of independents and managed to strike a deal with opposition party Fianna Fail.

Enda Kenny said his minority government was committed to working with all politicians in the Dail and the responsibilities will be shared by all as 'never before'

"The circumstances of today are of course very different from those of five years ago when Ireland was in deep crisis, when our country's very survival was in doubt," he said.

But he acknowledged many people had not felt the economy picking up in the years since.

"If economic survival was the urgent priority of the last government then using a strong economy to improve the lives, the quality of the lives of our people, must and will be the priority of the new government and that fundamental principle will be the bedrock of our policy programme," he said.

He will now lead a minority government after traditional adversaries in Fianna Fail - enemies since the civil war 90 years ago - agreed to prop up his administration by abstaining in the crucial vote and supporting a selection of policies including on water bills and housing.

Ireland honours its 'martyrs of freedom'

Mr Kenny said his minority government was committed to working with all politicians in the Dail and the responsibilities will be shared by all as "never before".

"Everyone will have the opportunity to play a constructive role as we work in partnership together to build a better Ireland," he said.

"It will be a great test of our democracy, of our character and indeed of this house, a test that I am convinced that we will pass."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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