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Irish Prime Minister Set to Disband Parliament

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen (File)

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen (File)

Ireland's prime minister says he will disband parliament next Tuesday and announce a date for early national election.

Brian Cowen made the comments on state-run radio on Friday.

Mr. Cowen had previously set an election date of March 11 but the opposition wants the vote held earlier.

The election is now expected to take place late next month.

On Thursday, Ireland's lower house of parliament passed a finance bill to secure an international bailout loan.

The upper house of the parliament begins debate Friday on austerity measures to bring Ireland in compliance with terms of the $91 billion international loan package.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.