Irish PM suffers by-election defeats ahead of national vote

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael party failed to win any of the four by-elections held to fill parliamentary vacancies on Saturday, a blow ahead of a general election he plans to hold in the next six months.

The governing centre-right party had held one of the seats left empty after four lawmakers successfully ran for European elections in May.

Its main rival Fianna Fail captured two of the seats, a gain of one, while left-wing Sinn Fein and the Green Party added a lawmaker each in the 158-seat Irish parliament.

The Fine Gael-led minority government has ruled through a cooperation deal with Fianna Fail that they extended last year as the uncertainty created by Britain’s protracted exit from the European Union kept either side from calling an election.

 

Via Reuters

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