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Friday
Feb252011

Ireland Holds General Elections, Fianna Fail Expected to Lose

Photo Courtesy - PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images(DUBLIN) -- Voters headed to the polls in the Republic of Ireland Friday, and are expected to oust the ruling party, Fianna Fail.

Ireland has been subject to tremendous economic setbacks, with a bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, and unemployment rising above 13 percent. The economic forecast has prompted the general election ahead of schedule.

Opinion polls indicate the Fine Gael party, a long-standing rival to Fianna Fail, will win the most seats in Irish parliament. The party will not have a majority, however. Polls also suggest that Enda Kenny, a 59-year-old former school teacher, will be elected to be prime-minister.

If polls are correct, the new government will continue to follow a stringent fiscal policy, with tax increases and spending cuts.

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