Reuters International

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny pauses before speaking to the media at the general election count centre in Castlebar, Ireland February 27, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's Labour Party said on Wednesday it would not re-enter government, reducing the options for acting Prime Minister Enda Kenny to secure re-appointment after an inconclusive general election on Feb. 26.

Kenny's Fine Gael is in talks with independent deputies to form a minority government, but party members voiced hope in recent days that Labour's seven deputies might join the proposed coalition, strengthening it significantly.

A meeting of Labour's seven remaining members of parliament on Wednesday rejected the idea, saying that the election had not given the party a mandate to re-enter government.

"The offering we made to the electorate to form part of a stable administration was rejected," party chairman Willie Penrose said in a statement.

Kenny's Fine Gael is in talks with historic centre-right rival Fianna Fail to secure its agreement to enable a minority government by abstaining on key votes. The party would then need to secure the support of at least six other deputies.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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