Galway Senator won’t contest Presidential election

aras an uachtarain

Galway senator Gerard Craughwell has said he will take no further part in the Presidential election as a potential candidate.

In a statement released this morning, Senator Craughwell said that he acheived the aim he set out to acheive last year, which was to prevent Michael D. Higgins to be elected for a second term uncontested.

The senator also welcomed Sinn Féin’s decision last week to put forward a candidate.

He said: “In August 2017 I became concerned that the main political parties in Leinster House were working together to deny the citizens of this Republic the opportunity to select their next President by means of an election.

“I feared that members of the Oireachtas and City and County Councillors would be prevented by the party whip from exercising their democratic right to nominate candidates and that the Presidency would simply be “rolled over” uncontested for another 7 years.”

Craughwell said that a system which prevents candidates other than the incumbent from securing a nomination and mounting a challenge is undemocratic and completely out of line with the principles of democracy enshrined in our constitution.

“To ensure that there would be a presidential election in 2018, I put myself forward as a potential candidate. In doing so I opened up what has been the first serious national conversation on the presidential nomination and election process.

“As many potential candidates have  indicated their intention to seek a nomination and mount a campaign, I am now satisfied that I have achieved the objective that I set out last August.

“In particular I am delighted that as the direct representatives of every community in Ireland, City and County Councillors,  will have a strong and vital say in who our next President will be,” Senator Craughwell added.

The senator thanked those who encouraged him personally and who supported his campaign for an open and democratic election.