Kenny Elected Ireland's Premier, Faces Debt Crisis

Ireland's new parliament has elected Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny to be prime minister atop a coalition government tasked with reviving the nation's debt-crippled economy.

Wednesday's election follows a weekend pact between conservative Fine Gael and the left-wing Labour Party.

Kenny says he will unveil his Cabinet later Wednesday after receiving his seal of office from Ireland's ceremonial head of state, President Mary McAleese.

Fine Gael won 76 seats and Labour 37 in Ireland's Feb. 25 election - both record highs. Together they will produce the biggest parliamentary majority in Irish history.

They last governed Ireland from 1995 to 1997.

Fianna Fail, the center-ground party that had dominated Irish politics since 1932, has just 20 seats, its fewest ever.


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