Irish Prime Minister Cowen to dissolve parliament Tuesday

The passage of the finance measure Saturday after two days of Senate debate paves the way for Cowen to dissolve parliament Tuesday and announce the date of the general election.

The finance bill was passed Thursday in the lower chamber of parliament, and Cowen  Friday announced his plans to seek to dissolve parliament after the Senate voted on the budget.

Cowen has already resigned after a series of controversies as leader of the Fianna Fail party but remained as premier to oversee passage of the finance bill, which gives legislative effect to the austerity budget required in the EU-IMF bailout.
Feb 25 is now the most likely date for the election.

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