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The World | IN BRIEF / IRELAND

Prime Minister Dissolves Parliament Ahead of Vote

April 25, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced that he was dissolving parliament ahead of a general election expected to be held May 17, his spokesman said.

Recent polls have given Ahern's Fianna Fail party, the senior coalition partner in the longest-serving peacetime government in the republic's history, a strong lead over its main rival, the center-left Fine Gael.

Ahern said he thought voters would look back on the five years of his administration as a "golden period" for Ireland.

He said his party delivered on promises to cut taxes, create jobs and bring peace--a reference to the Northern Ireland peace process. But the opposition is likely to hammer on crime and corruption.

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