Irish government rejects calls to fill 3 empty parliamentary seats, survives close votesBy AP
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Irish government rejects byelections, survives
DUBLIN — Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has survived a tight parliamentary vote that illustrates his government’s desperation to survive its full five-year term.
Cowen successfully resisted opposition calls to stage by-elections for three empty seats in parliament — long-delayed contests that the government expects to lose.
Government lawmakers defeated three motions to stage the by-elections on identical 81-77 votes. Had Cowen lost, he would have been forced to call an early national election. He is trying to cling to power until mid-2012.
Wednesday’s votes came against a background of rising public discontent over the government’s management of its surging national debt and Europe’s most severe bank bailout program. Thousands protested outside the parliament.
Tags: Dublin, Europe, Ireland, Parliamentary Elections, Western Europe