Ireland’s Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Green parties on Monday agreed to form a new coalition government.
The announcement came nearly four months after a general election that failed to produce a winner, as it ended in a three-way tie.
The planned coalition will bring together the two warring sides of the Irish civil war from the beginning of the 19th century, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, following decades of political rivalry.
Prime Minister and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, and Greens leader Eamonn Ryan signed off on the five-year plan for government after weeks of coalition talks.
Varadkar and Martin are expected to take turns being Taoiseach (prime minister) during the term of the new government.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, Ireland’s two biggest parties, have alternated holding the government reins since the end of the civil war in 1923.
Despite winning 37 of the 160 available parliament seats in February’s election, Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein was ruled out as a coalition partner by both Varakar and Martin.
Fianna Fail won 38 seats while Fine Gael secured 35.
The new government will have its work cut out for it, including a housing crisis, as the number of the homeless has hit 10,000.
Healthcare also faces serious challenges, as patients in hospital emergency rooms can wait as long as 17 hours to be examined.
The new government will also have to deal with the economy’s post-pandemic recovery.
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