Members of the Green Party of Ireland have withdrawn the motion of no confidence in Hazel Chu’s chairing of the party. Instead, the Green Party voted in favour of a motion requesting that Hazel Chu temporarily steps aside from her duties as partyperson.
The controversy surrounding Hazel Chu’s nomination
Hazel Chu, councillor and Lord mayor of Dublin, submitted her nomination for the Industrial and Commercial Panel in the upcoming Seanad by-election last week. The decision, made without having the backing of her party, angered some in the leadership and three Green Party Senators. They proceded to forward a motion of no confidence in her chairwomanship of the party.
Junior minister Pippa Hackett, who helped putforward the motion, was critical over Chu’s nomination. She said: “[Hazel Chu] has gone against the wishes of the both the PP and the EC by seeking a nomination. Many of us feel this makes her position untenable, and that it should be discussed by the PP.“
“Her decision to run as an independent candidate has been deeply divisive, and I believe it not only undermines her role as chair of the Party, but also our position in Government,” declared Hackett, revealed the Journal.ie.
Divide within the Green Party
Divisions in the party were indeed exposed during the meeting of the parliamentary party.
For one, Deputy leader Catherine Martin has shown her support for Hazel Chu’s candidacy. In fact, according to the Irish Examiner, Martin said that as a founder of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus she was “delighted” to nominate Chu. Moreover, when asked about the motion to have Chu step aside from her role, she replied that the motion should not be approved, as it would be divisive.
On the other hand, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan declared that he would vote for Gerry Horkan, a member of the Fianna Fáil Party, on the Industrial panel.
“I argued for and made the case that I would be voting in support of government candidates because I believe in this particular election, it gives us the ability to strengthen the programme for government and the delivery of the programme for government.”
Regarding Chu’s nomination, Eamon Ryan said her candidacy was not helpful during such sensitive time for the coalition.
The motion of no confidence was replaced with one requesting that she steps aside from her roles as chairwoman of the party for the duration of her bid to be elected to the Seanad. The alternative option was considered a compromise and an attempt to diffuse the internal row that has been caused by the by-election.
While the motion was passed by eleven votes to five, the parliamentary party cannot compel Chu to step aside from her duties. Only the Green Party’s executive committee has this right. The result is thus planned to be communicated to the said committee, which will have to deliberate and cast its own vote on the question.