None of the four party leaders got enough support to be elected as the next Taoiseach at the first meeting of the 33rd Dáil, where Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald got the most votes.
After the re election and appointment of Fianna Fáil’s Sean O Fearghail as Ceann Comhairle who beat Independent Denis Naughten in a vote for the chair of the 33rd Dail.
Proceedings started with Leo Varadkar the Fine Gael leader Leo being rejected as leader of the country.
In a massive 36 votes in favour, 107 against, with 16 abstains.
Next Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin chance at Taoiseach, was rejected with 41 votes in favour, 97 against and 19 abstains.
Mary Lou McDonald was next up, but she too failed to win enough support, with 45 votes in favour, 84 in opposition and 29 abstains.
On to green Green Party leader Eamon Ryan for Taoiseach, where he received only support from his party 12 with 115 votes against and 28 abstains.
Because Loe Varadkar had failed to win enough support to be re-appointed, he went to Áras an Uachtaráin and offered his resignation to President Michael D Higgins.
Leo Varadkar will however continue in the role of caretaker Taoiseach until a new leader is appointed and traveled to the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels.
The New 33rd Dáil has been adjourned until Thursday 5 March while talks take place to try agree a programme for government are set to intensify next week.
In her first speech Mary Lou launched thanked her colleagues for her nomination as Taosiseach going on to say today for the first time a candidate other than Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael has managed to garner enough votes, adding perhaps that makes up winners again.
She goes on to say the people voted for change and they Sinn Féin will do everything to deliver that change as the people had spoken and this is their wish. After a small amount of criticism of the Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael parties Mary Lou went on to say Sinn Féin are here to deliver that change and will work with all parties in the interest of the people to put together a sustainable programme for government, preferable without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, but if is necessary then Sinn Féin would be willing to do that as well.
Listen to Mary Lou’s speech below
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) February 20, 2020