January 22, 2011- The Prime Minister of Ireland, Brian Cowen, has conceded to party Fianna Fail’s members and quit as the party’s leader, but stated he would maintain his role as prime minister until the Irish elections on March 11.
Cowen’s resolve to step down as party leader while keeping the role of prime minister is very atypical and highlights a week of political turbulence that has had many Irish people in a uproar.
Cowen has taken a lot of heat for the fumbling of the economic emergency and for leading the economy as Finance Minister when the housing market collapsed. The ensuing disaster put Ireland in an untenable position to being forced into taking an EU bailout for 85 billion euro.
With building pressure from within the party, Cowen had no choice but to call a vote of confidence for his leadership. He was victorious but then mishandled it a little later when a poor attempt to make changes in his cabinet almost lost the party the government.
“This is the right thing to do for the party,” Cowen said at a spur of the moment press hearing at a Dublin hotel.
“We will manage the situation and people need to be assured of that.The government will discharge its duties properly and appropriately. It doesn’t in any way affect government business.”