June 26, 2020 / 3:18 PM / 13 days ago

Ireland's Fine Gael backs coalition deal, all eyes on Greens

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Fine Gael party of Irish acting prime minister Leo Varadkar became the first of three potential government partners to ratify a coalition deal on Friday, with the votes of Fianna Fail and Green Party members still being counted.

The smaller Greens require two-thirds support, a higher bar than the larger parties, which could still scupper the agreement struck between party leaders last week. Fine Gael approved the deal by a margin of 80% to 20%. The results from the other parties are due later on Friday.

Fianna Fail’s Micheál Martin would become prime minister for the first half of a five-year term and hand back to Varadkar in December 2022 under a novel rotation agreement between the historic centre-right rivals, who emerged from opposing sides of Ireland’s 1920s civil war.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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