Dublin, The newly formed lower house of the Irish parliament has failed to elect a new Prime Minister during its first sitting.
None of the candidates nominated by Ireland’s four largest political parties won the minimum required quota of the votes from all the 160 members of the lower house, who participated in Thursday’s voting, Xinhua news agency reported citing radio and TV broadcaster RTE as saying.
According to RTE, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald won 45 votes, ranking the highest among the four candidates, followed by 41 votes for Fianna Fail’s Micheal Martin, 36 for Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar, and 12 for Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.
The newly elected chair of the lower house Sean O Fearghail announced an adjournment till March 5 when another round of voting will be called.
Following the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, outgoing Prime Minister Varadkar paid a visit to the official residence of the Irish President Michael D. Higgins where he is expected to tender his resignation, said the RTE.
According to Irish laws, Varadkar will continue to exercise his duty as a caretaker Prime Minister after his resignation until a new Prime Minister is elected.
Once a new Prime Minister is elected by the lower house and approved by the President, he or she is required to form a government that must win the support from over half of the members of the lower house.
If the person fails to form a government, a new general election will be called.
Earlier on Thursday, Sean O Fearghail was re-elected as chair of the lower house by winning 130 votes while his sole competitor, Denis Naughten, an independent member, received 28 votes.
Ireland’s general election was held on February 8.