Ireland: New Coalition

FitzGerald gains power

For three weeks after Ireland's inconclusive general election, incumbent Prime Minister Charles Haughey and Opposition Leader Garret FitzGerald raced to form a new government. Last week FitzGerald won. He crafted an ingenious pact between his own pro-business Fine Gael (Family of the Irish) party and the ideologically distant, pro-union Labor Party. The result: a razor-thin majority of three seats in the Irish Dáil (parliament)—and a coalition so vulnerable it will take all of FitzGerald's wizardry just to last out the summer.

Perhaps the greatest threat to the new government lies...

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