2nd LD Writethru: Micheal Martin becomes new prime minister of Ireland

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DUBLIN, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin was elected as new prime minister of Ireland in a vote held here on Saturday at a special meeting of the lower house of the Irish parliament.

Announcing the voting results, Sean O Fearghail, speaker of the lower house of the Irish parliament, declared that Micheal Martin has won the election by receiving 93 votes in favor, 63 votes against and 3 votes in abstention.

There are altogether 160 seats in the current lower house of the Irish parliament with one seat going to the speaker of the house who was not involved in the vote. Sean O Fearghail is a member of Fianna Fail.

All the 84 parliamentarians of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green Party, the three parties which will form a coalition government led by Micheal Martin, have voted for his nomination as the new prime minister while nine independents also supported his nomination in the vote, reported Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE.

Following the announcement of his win in the vote, Martin delivered a short speech.

Martin said that there is no question of what this government's most important work will be and there is no part of his country that has escaped untouched from the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are nearly 900,000 people relying on special pandemic payments, in what is the fastest moving recession ever to hit the country, he said.

But "Our country has shown time and time again that we can overcome the toughest of challenges -- and we will do so again," Martin said.

He also said that the three parties involved in the coalition come from very different traditions, and do not and could not be expected to agree on everything.

It is the first time in Ireland's history that two rival political parties in the country -- Fianna Fail and Fine Gael -- have agreed to enter a coalition government.

Following his speech, Martin headed to the official residence of the Irish president where he received the seal of office of prime minister from President Michael D. Higgins.

After his meeting with Higgins, Martin traveled to Government Buildings where the office of the Irish prime minister is located and a new cabinet will be announced. Enditem

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