DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has said he is confident his government will win a confidence vote on Tuesday, his second in just over a year.
The vote was called by his deputy in response to a call for a no-confidence motion made by the opposition Fine Gael party, following the publication of two reports that criticised government policies in the run-up to Ireland’s banking crisis.
“The government is united in pursuing policies that are necessary to establish recovery as quickly as possible and we’ll take the opportunity to set out the decisions we have been taking, the basis for those decisions and our plans for the future,” Cowen was quoted as saying in daily The Irish Times.
“We welcome that opportunity and I believe there will be support in the house for the confidence motion in the government.”
Parliament will meet at 1330 GMT to debate the motion.
Cowen, who was previously finance minister, is expected to survive the vote since his Fianna Fail’s governing coalition has a narrow majority in parliament and has managed to pass measures, such as the 2010 budget, analysts say.
He won a vote of confidence in 2009 after Fianna Fail suffered heavy losses in local, parliamentary and European elections.
While Ireland has been praised by investors for pushing through some of the earliest and sharpest fiscal reforms in western Europe, Fianna Fail has remained hugely unpopular throughout its deep recession.
In a twist, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, who had called for the no-confidence vote in Cowen, sacked his own deputy on Monday, after he informed him he would no longer support his leadership of Ireland’s traditional main opposition party.
Kenny said he would now submit to his party a motion of confidence in his own continued leadership.
Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian