Cowen Holds Onto Job After Meeting

Brian Cowen has survived a meeting between his party's most influential members, despite mounting pressure for him to step down as leader.

During the meeting of the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party on Tuesday night a number of rebel backbenchers were expected to put forward a motion of no confidence, but despite facing a barrage of criticism, Mr Cowen managed to fend of the challenge.

The issue of his leadership was raised a number of times during the meeting but Mr Cowen indicated to them there were "mechanisms" in the party to deal with the issue if anyone wanted.

Yesterday, all four Sinn Féin TDs tabled a motion of no confidence in the Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the Dáil. Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called on all those in the Dáil opposed to Brian Cowen's leadership to vote no confidence in him.

He said: “This Dáil should have been dissolved by the Taoiseach last night. Brian Cowen no longer commands a majority in the Dáil. He should now put the issue to the test and allow a vote on the motion of no confidence, which has been tabled by the four Sinn Féin deputies.

“Are we to continue with this charade which is an insult to the Irish people? They are being denied a democratic choice because Fianna Fáil and the Greens want to put the people in the straitjacket of a savage and regressive budget, a four-year plan and an IMF, EU Loan Before a General Election. Brian Cowen and his Government should go and go now.”

Despite tabling the motion, Sinn Fein did not receive enough support for the motion to go to a vote in the house.

Most commentators believe Mr Cowen will hang on as Taoiseach until the election, which could be as early as January.


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