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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Coalition or bust?

Plaid Cymru today have finally ruled out ruled out entering a coalition government with any other party in the Welsh assembly. They have said that they will not even discuss a deal with another party before the assembly elections in 2007. This will be a huge blow to all those journalists who were filling their allotted column inches with gossip and speculation. It also leaves Peter Law with one less weapon to threaten the First Minister with.

This stance was predictable and completely logical. With less than two years to go to the Assembly elections all the opposition parties want to concentrate on promoting their policies. Any talk of coalition will come after the elections if the result dictates that such an arrangement is necessary. I have been arguing for some time that the Welsh Liberal Democrats group should take a similar public stand but others have wanted to adopt a wait and see attitude instead.

Interestingly, this announcement came on the same day that the Western Mail reported that Rhodri Morgan might be no-confidenced over the issue of Objective One European funding. The article quotes Plaid Cymru Parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd, as saying that "European aid was such a 'fundamentally important issue' it could lead to a no-confidence motion in Mr Morgan's leadership." He is joined in this by Plaid Cymru's Deputy President and MEP, Jill Evans.

This seems to directly contradict the party's stance on coalition. A successful no-confidence motion could only have one of two outcomes - a new Labour First Minister or Labour resigning from Government and handing it over to us. Intriquingly, no Plaid Cymru AM is quoted in the article, leading one to the conclusion that perhaps they were not asked before their MPs went off and decided things for them. Is the Party of Wales more disfunctional that we thought?
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