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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2007

Prime Minister looks to extend 10-year run

May 25, 2007

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— Voters decided Thursday whether to stick with the 10-year-old government of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern or dump him, amid rising concern about Ireland's painful cost of living, crime and overwhelmed hospitals.

The elections have been the most competitive in decades, raising the possibility of a "hung" parliament in which no party commands a majority. Analysts and Ireland's legions of gamblers say Ahern is a favorite to remain prime minister - but that any of the smaller parties in parliament could end up with the balance of power.

Final results are unlikely until Saturday because of a complex system that allows voters to rate candidates in order of preference and requires ballots to be counted up to a dozen times.

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