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Ireland's PM Varadkar calls early election for February 8

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told his cabinet he would seek a dissolution of the lower house of parliament.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told his cabinet he would seek a dissolution of the lower house of parliament. © Daniel Leal-Olivas, AFP

Ireland will go to the polls in an early general election on February 8, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday, hoping to capitalise on a Brexit deal and talks in Northern Ireland.

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"The election will be held on Saturday, February 8th," he said in a speech in Dublin, adding that he would ask President Michael Higgins to dissolve parliament.

Varadkar later posted a video on Twitter outlining what he sees as his achievements in power.

“We've made some good progress since I've become (prime minister)" he said. “But I know it's not enough, and we want to do much more.''

The election is likely to revolve around the issues of health and housing. Ireland is struggling with a housing crisis and has faced hospital overcrowding.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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