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Very close results in the Irish legislative elections with the start of the counting of votes

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Ireland started on Sunday a difficult process to count the votes of the legislative elections, which were led by the party of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, by a very small difference against the Republican Party, “Sinn Fein”, which rose to the forefront of the country’s political scene.

The screening process started in the main center in the capital, Dublin, at 09:00 GMT and locally, but the results will not be issued a few days ago due to the complexity of the electoral system in Ireland.

According to a poll conducted by the Ipsos MRBI Institute when voters left the polling stations and its results were published in the Irish media on Saturday evening, the Prime Minister “Feni Gail” (Irish family) party received 22.4% of the vote, followed by the Republican Party. Sinn Fein, with 22.3%, and Viana Ville or the Soldiers of Destiny (center right), 22.2%.

The difference is very small in the results between the three parties and the ten percentage points cannot be relied upon in determining the leader party because the study was conducted on a sample of five thousand voters and its margin of error reached 1.3%, which means that the final result of the elections is unknown.

It remains to be seen, however, how these figures will be translated into the distribution of seats in the 160-seat parliament.

The left-wing Sinn Fein party, which is active in demanding the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, ran for elections only with 42 candidates, twice as much as the two major centrist candidates.

According to Pat Leahy, the political division official in The Irish Times, this result is unprecedented. In a country traditionally led unilaterally or through a coalition, it represented “the inequality of three major parties”, two large center-right parties.

He added Saturday evening to the public channel “RTI” “it will be very difficult to form a government if the parties maintain their positions that were expressed before the vote.”

Viana Ville and Vinnie Gale ruled out forming a coalition with Sinn Fein because of his past links to the Irish Republican Army – a military organization that had been active against the British presence in Northern Ireland.

– Coalition government –

Gay Latif Faradkar, 41, born to an Indian father and an Irish mother, embodies Ireland, a Catholic who was deeply rooted in the past and on the path to modernization. His popularity declined after three years in power.

The outgoing prime minister was criticized for having prioritized his campaign for Brexit rather than voter concerns, such as housing and health. The Brexit case only affected the choices of 1% of voters polled on Saturday.

A week after Britain’s exit from the European Union on January 31, Ireland and its 4.9 million people are on the frontline.

With trade negotiations approaching, the island of Ireland will be greatly affected by its results, Faradkar stressed during the campaign a solution that avoids the return of material borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the Brexit Agreement.

The Irish border was one of the most contentious issues in the disengagement agreement negotiations between London and Brussels.

It recalled the memory of three decades of “unrest” in Northern Ireland between Republicans (the overwhelming majority of Catholics) and the Unionists (most Protestants), which killed 3,500 people.

The “very democratic” vote count, which started on Sunday, may continue for several days due to the nature of a complex electoral system based on a single transferable vote, according to Franz Ionen O’Halin, professor of history at Trinity University in Dublin.

Voters do not give their votes to a pre-prepared list, but rather they form their own list by placing voters in an order based on preference.

This electoral system was introduced with the beginnings of the founding of the Irish Republic nearly a century ago. An attempt to replace it with an information system failed in the 1990s because “nobody will trust him,” according to Ohalin.

After the official results are announced, consultations begin to form a coalition government unless one of the parties is able to obtain eighty seats, which is unlikely.

In the previous elections in 2016, the two major parties took seventy days to form a government.

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