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Resigning Irish premier dissolves parliament, calls for general election

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-02

Departing Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced the dissolution of parliament Tuesday to pave the way for general elections set for February 25. The election call was sparked by the country’s difficult economic environment.

AFP - Ireland's government Tuesday called a general election for February 25, expected to see it become the first administration ousted as a result of the eurozone debt crisis.

"Mr Eamon O Cuiv, minister for the environment, heritage and local government, is making an order appointing 25 February, 2011, as polling day," said a statement issued by Prime Minister Brian Cowen's government.

Cowen had earlier asked President Mary McAleese to dissolve parliament, bowing to months of pressure to call early elections.

The prime minister's authority has been severely damaged by the debt crisis that brought the Irish economy to its knees and forced it to accept an international bailout last November, and will not be standing in the poll.

His Fianna Fail party, whose support is at rock bottom, elected former foreign minister Micheal Martin as its new leader last week after Cowen quit as party chief.

Date created : 2011-02-01

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