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After one of the most tumultuous weeks in the history of the Fianna Fail, some members of parliament in his own party are being accused of planning the Prime Minister’s downfall.
After surviving a motion of confidence in his leadership the matter seemed settled. Then Cowen demanded the resignations of six ministers and tried to replace them with younger faces. It turned into a complete disaster when the Green Party, the minority party in coalition refused to go along.
Now desperate members who just voted to keep Cowen want rid of him.
Many cabinet members openly criticized the leader and detailed their own lack of confidence in his ability.
The members reportedly openly discussed plans to replace Cowen by assembling 18 names for a motion of no confidence. However, many decided to quietly return to their constituencies.
"There are no words to describe this, no words," one minister who supported Cowen told the Irish Independent.
"It could be just a matter of time before a motion is put down against him. I'm not hanging around here anymore, I'm going back to the constituency."
Mary Hanafin, the Minister for Tourism, said she told Cowen that the notion of a cabinet reshuffle would not be a popular choice with the public.
"I genuinely felt this was the wrong thing to do," said Hanafin, who as a result, is now also the Minister for Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Conor Lenihan, a junior minister called on Cowen to resign.
"I believe it would be just best for the party if he moved on," Lenihan said, describing yesterday’s events as unparalleled.
Other blamed contenders for the leadership for not moving earlier.
"I feel betrayed," one TD said.
"After all the stuff we have been through and put up with -- the things we had to sell to people -- and the times we backed him, he goes and does something like this. It's unbelievable."
Another member, who was not named by the Irish Independent, added: “You're just watching the implosion of Fianna Fail. We are in such a state.
"There is a lot of talk about him being asked to resign or there will be a move against him.
"His contribution to the meeting the other night was like something from 20 years ago at a convention.
"He was saying we were ready, we had the candidates, we had the money -- we have nothing. We can't go to the public with the baggage this man has. This big beast of Fianna Fail has ruined the party."
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