Fianna Fáil to support Michael D. Higgins should he run for a second term
An election is due to be held in October.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has confirmed his party's stance of supporting current President Michael D. Higgins should he seek a second term in office, despite its Ard Fheis calling on the party to field a candidate of its own.
The party leader took to Twitter earlier to post a short statement on behalf of the party, stating that “President Higgins has served the country with great distinction over the course of his first term both at home and around the world."
Martin went on to say that "He enjoys widespread support across the country and has demonstrated his understanding and connection with communities across a broad range of issues in recent years.
"His national leadership during our celebration of the centenary of the Easter Rising set the absolutely correct tone, and as we approach a series of centenaries of potentially more divisive events in our shared history, his experience and leadership will serve the country well," the statement concluded.
I’m pleased to confirm that following discussion with my colleagues, Fianna Fáil will support President Higgins in the event that he seeks a second term. He has served the country with distinction. Full statement below. 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/wnDOMamwdL
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) June 26, 2018
At the party's Ard Fheis back in October 2017, Martin strongly hinted at his party's consideration to run a presidential election candidate.
Speaking at the launch of the two-day event, he noted that it was "too early" to discuss the topic, but had plans to re-examine the situation in early 2018.
Rumours were rife over the weekend that President Higgins was keen to stand for another term and had even gone as far as informing a number of Cabinet Ministers about his intention to stand again, ahead of a formal announcement next month.
Upon being elected back in 2011, Higgins made it clear that he would only be a one-term President, but it appears to have softened his stance since.
An election is due to be held in October but if no candidates are put forward President Higgins will be re-elected without a contest, if he decides he wants another seven-year stint in Áras an Uachtaráin.
Earlier in the year, artist Kevin Sharkey confirmed that he planned to run for the presidency and be the first black Uactarán na hÉireann.
He man says the office of president should do more for homelessness than it currently does, and believes he's the right man for the job.
The former broadcaster also believes we need to take more control of our borders and immigration, claiming that Ireland is a victim of "experimental politics."
"I've watched as we've increasingly become a snooker ball on the table of European experimental politics. I feel that at the core of it, Irish people have been moved further and further down the line in terms of preference, whether it be for housing or hospital beds," he said.
The Irish President holds office for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms.