Dáil To Dissolve On Tuesday

Brian Cowen is to announce the dissolution of the Dáil for next Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming election at the end of February.

The end of the current parliament will also mark the end of Mr Cowen's two-year tenure as Taoiseach, while speculation is mounting that it may also be the end of his career in politics.

Speaking on This Morning Ireland today, Mr Cowen said he is to consult his family and advisors over the weekend regarding his future in politics.

The Constitution dictates that the Taoiseach must ask the President to dissolve the Dáil, and Mr Cowen said he would be announcing the decision in the Dáil at 1.30pm on Tuesday.

Under pressure from his former junior coalition party, the Green Party, Mr Cowen said last week he would dissolve parliament once the crucial finance bill had passed through both houses of parliament, paving the way for an election expected on February 25.

The lower house passed the finance bill on Thursday and it has now moved to the Senate for approval.

The lower house passed the finance bill by slim majority on Thursday, after undergoing a number of major amendments forced by Independent TDs, who held the balance of power in the finely poised Dáil.

The bill's passage will push through the €85 billion EU/IMF deal agreed late last year, by delivering a record austerity budget targeting €6 billion in spending cuts and tax rises by the end of March.


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