DUBLIN Ireland's main opposition Fine Gael party confirmed it will oppose Wednesday's parliamentary vote on the EU/IMF bailout, a move that is unlikely to affect the government's chances of approving the deal.
A senior Fine Gael member said on Sunday that it will seek to renegotiate the 85 billion euros rescue package to get a lower interest rate if it is elected to power next year, adding that he expected the party to oppose the vote.
A spokesman for the centre-right party, which is expected to form a coalition government with the centre-left Labour party following a parliamentary election early next year, confirmed to Reuters on Monday that Fine Gael would oppose the vote.
Labour, who are also campaigning to redraw the terms of the bailout, will also oppose the motion announced by Prime Minister Brian Cowen last week after he initially said he would not seek parliamentary approval for the agreement.
Cowen passed three of the four votes underpinning the 2011 budget last week and the two independent MPs that usually prop up his slim majority have said they will vote in favour of the rescue package.
A third independent MP who traditionally votes against the government was quoted by The Irish Times on Monday as saying he would also side with the government on Wednesday.
The IMF's board will vote on its portion -- 22.5 billion euros -- of the bailout on Thursday, provided the Irish parliament approves the package.
Our top photos from the last 24 hours.