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Archive for Friday, June 15, 2007

Ahern re-elected as prime minister

June 15, 2007

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— Bertie Ahern won re-election Thursday as prime minister of Ireland, extending his 10 years in power and clearing the way for a broadly based coalition government.

Fianna Fail lawmakers cheered and patted their party leader on the back after he received 89 votes in the 166-member Dail Eireann parliament, easily defeating his challenger, Enda Kenny of the major opposition Fine Gael party.

Ahern, 55, received support from all his Fianna Fail colleagues and also lawmakers from his new three-party government: the right-wing Progressive Democrats or PDs, who have been Ahern's partners since 1997, and the left-wing Greens.

"We live in an Ireland of unprecedented peace and prosperity. This has not happened by chance," said Ahern, referring to his roles guiding the Republic of Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

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