Irish Republican News · September 14, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Irish President may get unopposed second term

Ireland’s right-wing parties have backed the re-election campaign of Irish President Mary McAleese, while her potential rivals are struggling to gain the necessary nomination.

The decision by Mrs McAleese to seek a second seven-year term in the largely ceremonial post had been widely expected.

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has said the President’s re-election campaign will have the full support of his Fianna Fail party. The Deputy Prime Minister in Ireland’s coalition government, Tanaiste Mary Harney, said her party also endorsed the President’s decision to run for a second term and wished her every success.

The leader of the main opposition party, Fine Gael, has also expressed his support for Mrs McAleese. Enda Kenny confirmed that his party will not put forward a candidate in opposition to this morning`s self-nomination by the President.

The Green Party is attempting to field its own candidate in young TD Eamon Ryan, who has only been a member of the Dublin parliament since the last general election. However, there have been doubts that Mr Ryan can win the required support of twenty other members of the parliament to ensure his nomination.

The Green Party announced his candidacy hurriedly amid claims that the information was about to leak out. However, his election bid has not been approved formally by either the parliamentary party, or the national executive council, which met last Friday.

Meanwhile, the presidential ambitions of former Independent member of the European parliament, Dana Rosemary Scallon has also run into serious difficulties. She appears unlikely to win support of four county councils, the only other route to gain the necessary nomination to contest the Presidency under Ireland’s constitution.

Speaking after Mayo County Council decided not to make a decision on her request for support, Dana that she would continue to campaign for local authority nominations despite disappointments.

Six local authorities supported her in 1999, but yesterday, two local authorities, Clare County Council and Wicklow County Council, who supported Dana’s nomination in 1999 refused to do so again. Others appeared unlikely to back her campaign.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News