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Ireland rules out December election

DUBLIN, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Ireland’s prime minister on Wednesday ruled out holding a parliamentary election before Christmas, according to national broadcaster RTE.

Leo Varadkar is reported to have told ministers at a pre-cabinet meeting that an election would not be in the best interests of the country given that Britain’s departure from the European Union remains unresolved.

According to the report, the issue was raised by Varadkar in response to speculation that he would call for an election while Brexit is delayed by the EU’s extension to Britain’s membership. Britain is set for a December election to try to break the Brexit deadlock.

It is expected the Irish government will stick with its preference for an election in May 2020.

Varadkar’s minority government, run via a cooperation deal with the main opposition Fianna Fail party, was supposed to last only until the end of 2018 but its lifespan was extended as Dublin took on a pivotal role in Brexit talks.

Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Janet Lawrence