Irish Prime Minister Ahern to step down in MayApril 2nd, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin
Dublin, April 2 (DPA) Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced Wednesday here that he would step down May 6 amid speculation about his financial affairs. In announcing his date of resignation, Ahern said that he was “putting the interests of the Irish people and his Fianna Fail party” before his “personal interests”.
Ahern has recently faced tough questions about his personal finances at the Mahon Tribunal and was due later Wednesday to face questioning in Ireland’s parliament, the Dail, over what the opposition claims are inconsistencies in his evidence to the tribunal.
Ahern stressed that his departure was a “personal” one based on his desire to put an end to a situation where the business of government was “constantly being deflected by the minutiae of my life, lifestyle and finances”.
Ahern had said during the most recent general election campaign last year that he would not fight another election. However, he said he was announcing his departure earlier than expected in order to allow Irish political life to refocus.
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