CORK East Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keeffe called on his party leader Brian Cowen to resign as Taoiseach yesterday.

The outspoken deputy urged Cowen to resign immediately because he said he had lost the confidence of the public.

O'Keeffe said there was too much secrecy and little transparency in the manner in which the government was conducting its business.

He said the powers that finance minister Brian Lenihan used recently to hold a High Court hearing in secret, which effectively nationalised AIB bank, had all the "hallmarks of a dictatorship".

Meanwhile, former junior minister Mary Wallace yesterday announced she will not be contesting the next general election.

Wallace, who represents Meath East and who has been a TD since 1989, becomes the twelfth Fianna Fáil deputy to announce their retirement from public life, with still more expected to follow in the coming weeks.