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Ireland goes to polls

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

The election is Fine Gael party leader Leo Varadkar’s first as Prime Minister or taoiseach and it is also the first time that a general election in the Republic of Ireland is being held on a Saturday…reports Asian Lite News

Mumbai: New Irish PM-elect Leo A. Varadkar's extended family in Mumbai celebrated his election to the top post, at their Borivali home, and also at their native village, Varad in Sindhudurg district of Konkan, near Goa border on June 2, 2017. (Photo: IANS) by .
FILE PHOTO – Leo A. Varadkar’s extended family in Mumbai celebrated his election to the top post, at their Borivali home (Photo: IANS)

Irish citizens went to the polls on Saturday to vote in the general elections.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and will close at 10 p.m. Counting of the votes will begin on Sunday in all 39 constituencies, reports the BBC.

The election is Fine Gael party leader Leo Varadkar’s first as Prime Minister or taoiseach and it is also the first time that a general election in the Republic of Ireland is being held on a Saturday.

A total of 160 representatives will be returned to the Dail or the Lower House of Parliament, while the ceann comhairle, or speaker, is automatically re-elected.

In most situations, the speaker does not vote, so a government will need 80 Parliament members to hold a majority.

Varadkar said he would advocate a “yes” vote to repeal the eighth amendment of the Irish Constitution which gives equal right to life of the mother and the unborn child. Currently abortion is only allowed in Ireland when a woman’s life is at risk but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality.(Xinhua/Ye Pingfan/IANS)
(Xinhua/Ye Pingfan/IANS)

It was unlikely that any party will reach that number, so another coalition government was probable, said the BBC.

The election uses proportional representation with a single transferrable vote.

Voters write “1” opposite their first choice candidate, “2” opposite their second choice, “3” opposite their third choice and so on.

People living on 12 islands off the coasts of counties Galway, Mayo and Donegal voted on Friday.

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