May 4, 2016 / 11:22 AM / in 2 years

Acting Irish PM hopes government can be formed this week

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Talks on forming a government between acting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael party and independent lawmakers could conclude later on Wednesday or Thursday, Kenny told parliament.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny speaks to the media at the general election count centre in Castlebar, Ireland February 27, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Kenny has secured the agreement of Ireland’s second largest party, rival Fianna Fail, to facilitate a minority government and needs the support of six more lawmakers outside his party to reach the 58 required to be re-elected prime minister.

Fianna Fail will abstain on key votes until the end of 2018. If Fine Gael found enough independent deputies for an agreement it would break almost ten weeks of deadlock following elections when Kenny’s outgoing coalition suffered heavy losses.

“I’d like to think this matter can be concluded by this week. The matter could be signed off on tonight or tomorrow (but) I can’t guarantee it,” Kenny said.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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