PM Rides Luck of the Irish to Third Term

Early results put Ahern in reach of almost certain victory
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2007 6:43 PM CDT
Counting begins in the Irish general election in Dublin, Ireland, Friday May 25, 2007. Prime Minister Bertie Ahern appeared on course to extend his 10-year reign as vote-counting began Friday and an exit...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Incumbent Bertie Ahern is almost certainly headed for a third term as Ireland's prime minister, Ireland's RTÉ is reporting this evening. Ahern's coalition has won 41% of seats in Parliament thus far, likely enough to lead a coalition government.

Ahern ran on a platform that highlighted his success transforming Ireland into one of Europe's richest countries, and his work negotiating peace in Northern Ireland. But his party's narrow victory means that he may have to lure one of Ireland's smaller parties into his coalition to preserve a majority. And the opposition have refused to concede on hopes they'll be able to use back-room agreements to form their own ruling government.