Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar finds a coalition with Sinn Féin’s leftist nationalists “not an option.” Varadkar, the leader of the center-right party Fine Gael, wants to talk to other parties, he said the day after the Irish parliamentary elections.
Three parties were about the same size: Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and center-right, and Sinn Féin, according to an exit poll, each had just over 22 percent of the voters.
Official results are not yet available, but the political leaders already made an advance on the coalition talks that will follow on Sunday. Leader Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil emphasized that his party also differs profoundly from Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin was previously the political wing of the IRA, which until the 1990s tried to violently end British rule over Northern Ireland. The party now presents itself primarily as a left alternative. And with success: in the previous elections, 14 percent of voters voted for the party, now more than 22 percent. Sinn Féin never got that many votes. The party demands a place at the negotiating table.