Embattled Irish PM vows to lead party after poll

22nd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Embattled Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said Friday he would carry on leading the Fianna Fail party after the March general election -- despite polls predicting a hammering.

Cowen survived a confidence vote Tuesday among his centrist party's MPs, despite a challenge from his foreign minister, but then faced a wave of five resignations from party colleagues in the cabinet.

Cowen then called a general election Thursday, to be held on March 11. Polls predict Fianna Fail will take a battering, with the Fine Gael main opposition party likely to top the vote.

As he met Northern Ireland ministers for a pre-planned round-table gathering in Armagh, Cowen tried to move on from the midweek drama.

"I have the support of my party, as confirmed by democratic decision last Tuesday, to lead this party into this election and beyond and that is what I intend to do."

© 2011 AFP

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