The situation which now obtains, where the Dáil has failed to agree on the nomination of a Taoiseach is unprecedented in our history.
My colleagues and I in Government have obtained the advice of the Attorney General and considered what we should do in this very difficult situation. It would not be in the best interests of the country to precipitate another general election, if this can be avoided. What the country needs at this critical juncture in our economic development and as we face into Ireland's Presidency of the European Community and the challenges of the Single European Market is a period of continuing stability. For that a stable Government, with the right policies, is essential.
I am not, therefore, at this early stage deciding whether I should advise the President to dissolve the Dáil. Our paramount task now is to provide a government who can meet the challenges and problems facing the country. I propose, therefore, that, for the present at any rate, we in the Dáil should continue our efforts to reach a decision, with any adjournments, as required, for consultations. Under Article 28.11.2º of the Constitution, I and my Cabinet colleagues continue to hold office and the day to day business of Government will be carried on uninterrupted.
I propose therefore, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Standing Orders, that the Dáil should now adjourn and meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, 3 July to resume condideration of this matter. This will be a special sitting which will not deal with any items of business other than the nomination of Taoiseach, and, if appropriate, approval of the members of the new Government.
In the interim, I propose to hold further consultations with the parties in the House. I am confident that, with a full appreciation of the political realities and mindful of the best interests of the country, our efforts will meet with success.