January 20, 2011
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has announced that he intends to dissolve parliament and call a general election on 11 March.
The Fianna Fail leader promised that budget laws key to the Irish Republic’s 85bn-euro (Â£72bn) international bail-out would be passed before then.
In a setback for Mr Cowen, he added that five vacated cabinet seats would be reassigned to existing ministers.
His Green Party allies had apparently refused to back a reshuffle.
Support for the government has fallen sharply since it agreed to the November bail-out.