Irish parliamentary election called May 24

April 29, 2007 at 3:41 PM
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DUBLIN, Ireland, April 29 (UPI) -- Irish Republic President Mary McAleese dissolved Parliament Sunday as Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced a May 24 general election.

Ahren is seeking a third term amid recent polls projecting a tight race between his Fianna Fail party and the Fine Gael party in the four-week campaign, Britain's Sky News said. The new Parliament will convene June 14 to form Ireland's new government.

A poll published by the Irish Times Friday showed a 5 percent gain for Fine Gael since the last poll in January, giving a Fine Gael-Labor coalition a 4 point lead.

"In the weeks ahead, I pledge to give the Irish people the campaign they deserve -- a campaign of issues and policies, not insults and attacks," Ahern said. "I am more interested in attacking problems than attacking people."

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny hopes the party will win more seats in the 166-member Dail than Fianna Fail for the first time in Irish history, Sky News reported.

The BBC said Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams predicts his party will be part of government in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland by the end of the month.

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