Cowen to face FG confidence vote


Fine Gael will put forward a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach on Tuesday if he does not seek the immediate dissolution of the Dáil, party leader Enda Kenny said today.

Mr Kenny was responding to Mr Cowen's decision today to step down as leader of Fianna Fáil but to remain as Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny said Mr Cowen’s attempt to lead the Government despite losing the confidence of his party was “another sad example of Fianna Fáil putting their own survival ahead of the country's survival”.

“It is also a complete contradiction of his stated position less than a week ago,” Mr Kenny said.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said public did not “greatly care” who was the Fianna Fáil leader and wanted a new government with a fresh mandate.

“It is simply not tenable for Mr Cowen to remain on as Taoiseach as his colleagues in Fianna Fáil squabble over the remnants of their party.”

Labour said it was planning to continue with its motion of no confidence in the Government which is scheduled for Wednesday. “The issue is not simply about Mr Cowen, but about the collective performance of this Government and the need for a new start,” Mr Gilmore said.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said Mr Cowen’s announcement would lead to further instability. “The Government and Fianna Fáil are in chaos…their focus is not on the problems facing the country.”

Mr Adams called on the Taoiseach to hold an immediate general election.