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Ireland Announces Election in Light of Political Questioning

Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced that the country's next general election will be held on May 24. Ahern also vowed to continue his 10-year reign. Ahern and Ireland's symbolic head of state, Mary McAleese, signed a document on Sunday allowing parliament to dissolve for the four weeks that the campaigns will be running. McAleese said the newly elected parliament would convene on June 14 to elect a new government.

Ahern belongs to the Fianna Fail party of Irish politics. The party has dominated elections since the 1930s. Issues for debate will likely include the state of the economy in Ireland, as well as transportation and health care.

This election could be a major turning point in Ireland, as the Fianna Fail party has been challenged by more left-leaning parties such as Sinn Fein or the Green Party, both of which expect to gain seats in Dail Eireann, Ireland's key lower house of parliament.

This article came out of the Sunday edition of the New York Times. A "world briefs" version also appeared in the Star Tribune.