Micheál Martin became Ireland’s new prime minister Saturday. Micheál Martin has said the fight against Covid-19 would be his government’s priority.
Micheál Martin New Prime Minister: Watch him Speaking
Micheál Martin became Ireland’s new prime minister Saturday, fusing two longtime rival parties into a coalition four months after an election that upended the status quo. Martin won with 93 votes in favor and 63 against in Saturday’s special sitting of the Dáil, the Irish parliament. Due to social distancing rules, the session held at the Convention Centre Dublin instead of Leinster House. Three TDs abstained.
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It is the first time in history that former Civil War rivals Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have governed. Mr. Martin expects to lead the country until December 2022 before handing back over to Leo Varadkar, the Fine Gael leader.
Speech of New Prime Minister
“I believe civil war politics ended a long time ago in our country, but today civil war politics ends in our parliament.” “Two great parties coming together with another great party, the Green party, to offer what this country needs: a stable government for the betterment of our country and the betterment of our world.”
He said serving in the government was a privilege, and that the coalition allowed Fine Gael to serve a third consecutive term in government. In his inaugural speech, Martin hailed his new role as “one of the greatest honors anyone can receive” and paid tribute to health workers, and those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are meeting away from our permanent chamber because of a historic pandemic which has struck Ireland and the rest of the world,” he said. “As of today, 2,278 people on this island have lost their lives. Many thousands more have fought a long struggle to recover. There is no community, no part of our country, which has escaped untouched.”
Martin said there had been “enormous progress” in controlling coronavirus over the last three months but emphasized that “the struggle against the virus is not over.”
“We must continue to contain its spread. We must be ready to tackle any new wave, and we must move forward rapidly to secure recovery to benefit all of our people,” he said.