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Ireland Election date showdown as tensions rise between Varadkar and Martin

10:55  16 december  2019
10:55  16 december  2019 Source:   independent.ie

Varadkar accused of having a 'terrible air of detachment' for saying health and car insurance premiums are levelling off

  Varadkar accused of having a 'terrible air of detachment' for saying health and car insurance premiums are levelling off ‘The cure for whiplash is compensation payment in Ireland,’ said the Taoiseach.Leo Varadkar criticised those involved in insurance fraud, but added that health and car insurance premiums have “levelled off”.

Mr Martin has written to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar asking him to name a date for the general election , with Mr Mr Martin said he wanted to ensure in the remaining time that an extension to the threshold for medical card eligibility for over-70s is agreed and that legislation on electoral transparency passes.

A fire has destroyed much of an election commission warehouse in Kinshasa as tensions rise in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with Demonstrations of the new machines to parliamentarians and representatives of the influential Catholic church did not go well, with several breaking down .

Micheal Martin wearing a suit and tie: Micheál Martin said Dáil time left was ‘tidying up period’. Picture: Collins © Copyright Collins Photo Agency Micheál Martin said Dáil time left was ‘tidying up period’. Picture: Collins

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin are set for a showdown over the election date amid rising tensions between the two men.

Fine Gael is furious about a letter sent by Mr Martin demanding that a date be set for the dissolution of the Dáil.

Rather than reply in writing, Mr Varadkar wants a face-to-face meeting with the Opposition leader either this week or immediately after the Christmas break.

Mr Martin said yesterday there was “no point” reconvening the Dáil after the festive recess if the Taoiseach did not give certainty on when the general election would be.

Insurance payouts cap could go to referendum - Varadkar

  Insurance payouts cap could go to referendum - Varadkar The Taoiseach has raised the prospect of holding a referendum to cap insurance payouts if the Government's reforms do not work. Mr Varadkar raised the possibility at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting last night where TDs spoke out on the issue. Dublin Bay-South deputy Kate O'Connell hit out at people taking unjustified personal injury claims. Ms O'Connell said "life is a contact sport" and sometimes people fall over and hurt themselves and it's nobody else's fault.Ms O'Connell said TDs make laws that are being "pushed to the limits" by some professionals advising people on making claims.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has written to Leo Varadkar to demand that he bring stability to the country and name a date for the next General In the letter seen by the Sunday Independent, Mr Martin told the Taoiseach to «step in and give some certainty» and provide for an orderly wind- down

Monitors warn of possible violence if results are contested as count continues.

However, sources close to the Taoiseach noted he had repeatedly asked Fianna Fáil to agree an election date in summer 2020.

Mr Martin always declined to engage in such discussions.

  Election date showdown as tensions rise between Varadkar and Martin “It’s a little ironic now for Fianna Fáil to be claiming the moral high ground,” a Government source said.

Preparations are well under way in both parties for an election with the vast majority of candidates selected and manifestos largely ready for printing.

On Saturday, Mr Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe met with director of elections from every constituency around the country.

Party sources insisted the gathering in the Red Cow Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin was a bi-annual event and not linked to rising expectation of an imminent election.

Martin to Varadkar: name date of election

  Martin to Varadkar: name date of election Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has written to Leo Varadkar to demand that he bring stability to the country and name a date for the next General Election. In the letter seen by the Sunday Independent, Mr Martin told the Taoiseach to "step in and give some certainty" and provide for an orderly wind-down of the Government. In the letter seen by the Sunday Independent, Mr Martin told the Taoiseach to "step in and give some certainty" and provide for an orderly wind-down of the Government.

Tensions between the federal government and state authorities have mounted in recent weeks after Mogadishu tried to block the candidacy of former al Shabaab Islamist militant Mukhtar Robow. “After the committee evaluated the many activities awaiting, available time and the incomplete tasks to be

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin were meeting this evening in a bid to find a resolution To date there has been no change in the position of either side on the Tánaiste's future. He said it showed ongoing contact between senior gardaí and the Department at the time.

However, the Irish Independent understands Mr Varadkar gave a speech on the party’s priorities as they move into election season.

Fiona O'Connor, a member of the Fine Gael's Executive Council, gave a presentation on the challenges that have faced the party while in government and also its  achievements.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin during a press briefing at Leinster House in Dublin ahead of his party's annual conference.  22-Feb-2019 Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin during a press briefing at Leinster House in Dublin ahead of his party's annual conference. 22-Feb-2019 Those in attendance responded by briefing the Taoiseach on their readiness for polling days and any problems that might arise locally.

Attendees were also given advice on preparing press releases and dealing with the media. This is an area where the party was viewed to have fallen down during the recent by-elections, particularly in the case of Wexford candidate Verona Murphy.

She is expected to be dropped from the party ticket in January as a result of comments made about immigrants and a campaign video in which it was alleged the media had engaged in a character assassination.

Reports of February general election are 'speculation', says Varadkar

  Reports of February general election are 'speculation', says Varadkar Reports of February general election are 'speculation', says VaradkarVaradkar reiterated his preference for an election date in May 2020 on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show which was hosted by Brendan O’Connor today.

Fears of further bloodshed has led Kenya's election commission to postpone Saturday voting in some opposition strongholds, citing safety concerns for its workers as deadly clashes continued between police and protesters.

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The Dáil is due to close for a month-long recess on Wednesday night.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar © Getty Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Ministers and TDs are wondering whether they will be back at all on January 15 or whether Mr Varadkar will ask President Michael D Higgins to dissolve the Dáil beforehand.

The Taoiseach has a heavy schedule for the festive period, but Government sources say that by mid-January all the focus will be back on the Brexit date of January 31.

Officials are working with Downing Street to find a date for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.

A source said it was likely to take place early in the new year, however a pre-Christmas meeting has not been ruled out.

Mr Varadkar plans to hold two Cabinet meetings this week before taking a family holiday in India in the days after December 25.

He has said his preferred date would be in May, while Mr Martin has said Easter (April 12) would be a natural end for the Dáil.

People who have not paid their water charges bill 'will be pursued' - Simon Coveney © PA Wire People who have not paid their water charges bill 'will be pursued' - Simon Coveney But control over the date may not be in either leader's hands due to the Dáil arithmetic.

‘We cannot wait forever’ – Varadkar says minimum alcohol pricing will have to go ahead without NI

  ‘We cannot wait forever’ – Varadkar says minimum alcohol pricing will have to go ahead without NI Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that ‘we cannot wait forever’ to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol despite continuing uncertainty over Stormont. The introduction of minimum alcohol pricing has been pushed back by the Irish government due to fears that southern shoppers would cross the border and buy alcohol in Northern Ireland. The introduction of minimum alcohol pricing has been pushed back by the Irish government due to fears that southern shoppers would cross the border and buy alcohol in Northern Ireland.

NAIROBI — Tensions were on the rise in western Kenya and parts of Nairobi amid confusion and discrepancies surrounding the country’s repeated presidential election this past week, with deadly violence breaking out in some areas.

'Fears of further bloodshed has led Kenya's election commission to postpone Saturday voting in some opposition strongholds, citing safety concerns At least six people have died in violence linked to the latest election , including a man who was shot in the Nairobi slum of Kawangware as security forces

If another party were to table a motion of no confidence in a minister, the Government is unlikely to have the numbers to withstand it even if Fianna Fáil abstains.

The situation is further complicated because Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness will no longer abide by the Confidence and Supply agreement. "Lead the way Micheál, set the date, mid-February, enough is enough," he said yesterday.

Relations between the two main parties are extremely low after details of Mr Martin's letter were revealed in yesterday's 'Sunday Independent'.

In it he called on the Taoiseach to "step in and give some certainty" that would allow for an orderly wind-down of the Government.

"Nothing positive can be achieved if we allow growing escalation of speculation" or "short-term tactics" concerning the calling of an election, he added.

Speaking on Newstalk's 'On the Record', Mr Martin said there was "no point" in TDs returning to the Dáil on January 15 if there is still uncertainty over an election.

"It is not tenable that the Dáil will continue on an indefinite week-to-week basis so there has to be certainty and clarity brought to the situation," added Mr Martin.

Micheal Martin wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA) © Brian Lawless Micheal Martin (Brian Lawless/PA) He said Fianna Fáil would agree to stick with the Confidence and Supply arrangement for the 34 sitting days until Easter if the Government gave certain commitments.

Martin says he's trying to be the 'sane voice' and calls on Varadkar to agree election date

  Martin says he's trying to be the 'sane voice' and calls on Varadkar to agree election date Martin says he's trying to be the 'sane voice' and calls on Varadkar to agree election dateSpeaking to reporters today, Martin also said the Taoiseach is weighing up his options on when to call an election, but he wants a date set.

With no obvious post- election settlement, there is concern that a stalemate could destabilise Kosovo and jeopardise the resumption of talks with Serbia over its former territory. An ethnically divided town, Mitrovica has been the centre of tensions between Albanians and Serbs since the end of the war.

Global tensions are rising visibly, as the petrodollar-funded U.S. corporate government faces a January 18th start of gold-backed One sign of this extreme tension came last week when “a missile from a cabal submarine was stopped from hitting Hawaii and the submarine was sunk,” Pentagon

These include the extension to the threshold for medical card eligibility for over-70s, legislation on electoral transparency and new laws for open disclosure in the wake of the CervicalCheck scandal.

Mr Martin said the time left for this Dáil was essentially a "tidying up period".

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said he "won't be discussing matters with Micheál Martin through the media".

He pointed to comments by Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who argued Mr Martin was "slow off the mark" with his letter.

"Eighteen months ago the Taoiseach wrote to Micheál Martin requesting that they agree a date in May to provide stability," he said.

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Leo Varadkar refuses offer to volunteer and help homeless this Christmas .
When asked if he would consider showing leadership on this by volunteering on Christmas Day, he said no .Instead he said he will be doing something else that he would like to keep private.Mr Varadkar said: “Well, I’ll be doing something on Christmas Day, but it’s not related to homelessness. © Getty Images Leo Varadkar “I’ll talk about that some other time.

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