February 9, 2020 / 4:00 PM / 18 days ago

Sinn Fein demands place at talks to form next Irish government

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald speaks to media after exit polls were announced in Ireland's national election, in Dublin, Ireland, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein is ready to enter government in Ireland and it would be undemocratic to exclude it, leader Mary Lou McDonald said on Sunday after tallies indicated her party narrowly secured the most votes in a national election.

The two center-right parties that have dominated Irish politics since the formation of the state a century ago, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, have both ruled out sharing power with Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army.

“I do not accept the exclusion or talk of excluding our party, a party that represents now a quarter of the electorate and I think that that is fundamentally undemocratic,” McDonald told journalists in Dublin.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Mark Potter

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