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Ruling Party Expected To Be Voted Out In Irish Elections

Prime Minister Brian Cowen
The ruling Fianna Fail party appears likely to be voted out of power in today's elections in Ireland.

It is the first vote since Irish leaders negotiated an 85-billion euro bailout deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to rescue the country from its crippling budget deficit and economic collapse.

As a result of the rescue deal, Ireland faces years of austerity measures to repay the bailout, and must also deal with plummeting property values and other economic woes.

Opinion surveys say the center-right Fine Gael party is likely to win the most votes in the election. It is unclear, however, whether Fine Gael will be able to secure enough seats to govern without a coalition partner.

compiled from agency reports