February 13, 2020 / 3:03 PM / 11 days ago

Exclusive: Ireland's Fianna Fail to seek to form government without Sinn Fein

FILE PHOTO: The Leader of Ireland's opposition Fianna Fail party, Micheal Martin is seen in the grounds of Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s centre-right Fianna Fail party will seek to form a government that does not include left-wing nationalists Sinn Fein, a senior member of the party said on Thursday following a meeting of the party’s lawmakers.

“We gave the party leader license to speak to whoever he needs to speak to, with the exception of a Sinn Fein,” senior Fianna Fail lawmaker Niall Collins told Reuters.

Two of the three largest parties will need to cooperate to form a government, with Fianna Fail on 38 seats, Sinn Fein on 37 and centre-right Fine Gael on 35 in the 160-seat parliament, while Fine Gael has already ruled out a deal with Sinn Fein.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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