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Ireland sets date for early elections

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Ireland sets date for early elections


Early elections in Ireland have been set for February 25.

Embattled Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who announced on Monday that he would not seek reelection to parliament, got a standing ovation after his valedictory speech.

He said: “It has been a privilege to serve the people of Ireland in our government. In every government department in which I have served, my over-riding objective was to do my best by the Irish people.”

But Cowen has been widely blamed for mishandling Ireland’s financial crisis, and his party has begun preparing for a tough election.

Fianna Fail, which has dominated Irish politics since the 1930s, is expected to get a drubbing in the polls.

A coalition between the centre-right Fine Gael party and the centre-left Labour party is expected.

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