Enda Kenny has been re-elected as Taoiseach of Ireland 70 days after a general election which produced no outright winner. He held the role of acting taoiseach over the past 10 weeks as talks took place between parties and independents on how to form a new government.
His Fine Gael party won the most seats in the election but fell short of the quota needed to rule without support. It is now expected that Mr Kenny will lead a minority Fine Gael government.
His re-election followed a deal with a number of independent elected members and the Republic of Ireland’s second largest party, Fianna Fáil.
Fianna Fáil has agreed to support Fine Gael’s programme for government over “three budget cycles” while some independents are expected to become government ministers.
Accepting his nomination, Mr Kenny told the Dáil (Irish parliament) that its members must now “work together in the best interest of all our people”.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the deal represented “a major turning-point for Irish democracy”.
“It marks a decisive shift away from a government with the absolute power to control our parliament.”
Mr Kenny has made history by becoming the first Fine Gael taoiseach to be re-elected to the office.
He was re-appointed with 59 votes in favour and 49 votes against.
However, it was the fourth attempt to appoint a new prime minister since the general election of Friday 26 February returned a hung Dáil, in which no party won enough seats to govern independently.
In his acceptance speech on Friday, Mr Kenny said that while the coalition brought the state back from the edge of an economic cliff, he recognised that not everyone experienced the recovery.