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Favorite to become leader of Ireland's Labour Party confirms he will run

Favorite to become leader of Ireland's Labour Party confirms he will run

The favorite to become leader of Ireland's opposition Labour Party announced Tuesday that he will run.
Eamon Gilmore, the environment spokesman for the left-wing party, said Labour needed to rebound strongly from its lackluster performance in a national election in May.
The poor showing, in which Labour won just 20 of the 166 seats in Ireland's parliament, persuaded Pat Rabbitte to resign after five years in charge.
Gilmore said Labour needed to aim to win "close to 30 seats" in the next national election expected in 2012, and to win at least one seat in each of Ireland's 41 parliamentary districts by 2017.
Labour has long been the No. 3 party between the center-ground parties, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Rabbitte tried to oust Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's Fianna Fail from power by forging a formal coalition pact with Fine Gael, but that strategy narrowly failed.
Gilmore declined to comment on whether he intends to break the pact with Fine Gael, but noted that Labour needed to do a much better job of "campaigning and organizing independently."
Ireland's major bookmakers, Paddy Power, have rated Gilmore as the strong favorite ever since Rabbitte's surprise resignation Thursday. Gilmore's odds improved further Monday when the No. 2 candidate, Brendan Howlin, ruled himself out of the contest.
Gilmore, 52, has been a lawmaker since 1989. Like Rabbitte, he graduated into Labour after working for the Workers Party, a fringe party linked to one branch of the outlawed Irish Republican Army.
The Labour leader is picked principally by the party's rank-and-file members in a postal ballot. Other potential candidates, none of whom have declared their intentions, include the acting leader, Liz McManus. Balloting is expected next month.
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On the Net:
http://www.labour.ie


Updated : 2021-05-15 02:14 GMT+08:00