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President Higgins to seek second term

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018 10:24am

Michael D Higgins has confirmed this morning that he will seek a second term as president.

Mr Higgins made the announcement this morning in a statement saying he "wishes to confirm that he will be offering himself as an independent candidate when the Ministerial Order for a Presidential Election is made later in the year".

The Government has been informed of Mr Higgins' decision, and an election will now take place later this year, unless Mr Higgins is unopposed. A number of potential candiates have previously declared their interest in seeking a nomination, including Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell and Irish artist and television presenter Kevin Sharkey. Other people who have expressed an interest in running include Senatior Padraig Ó Céidigh and Senator Joan Freeman.

Other candidates will need the backing of either 20 members of the Oireachas or four local authorities if  they decide to contest the election.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin confirmed last month his party would back Mr Higgins should he seek a second term in the Áras. Fine Gael is expected to do the same.

Mr Higgins was elected as President of Ireland in 2011. He said in his statement he would continue his "programme of official duties and engagements" today in Mayo, but is expected to speak on his decision this afternoon.

On social media this morning before the President made his statement, Senator Craughwell said: "It is time for those who care about our democracy to speak out. Sure I would like to be elected but I will not die if I am not. The most important thing for any democracy is that the franchise is fully exercised. We in this Republic should always elect our presidents."

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