The Irish Presidential election is drawing close and Michael D. Higgins may be planning for a second seven-year term in the role.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins will seek a second term in office, the Irish Times reports. Although Higgins ran in 2011 stating that he planned just to spend one term in Áras an Uachtaráin (the President's official residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin), he is expected to make a more formal announcement about his re-election campaign in July.
It is reported that political figures thought to support his candidacy have been warned in preparation for an election in Fall 2018. Now coming to the end of his first seven years as Irish President, Higgins or his replacement must be decided in an election by November at the latest.
Higgins, 76, had previously stated that he intended to make any future intentions clear in September. An earlier announcement, however, would come straight after the abortion referendum in Ireland and before the Dáil (Irish parliament) breaks for the summer.
Some politicians have already voiced their intention to run against Higgins, in particular, Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell. Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice and Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly have also been mentioned in pre-election speculation.
Many of the main Irish political party leaders have stated that they wish to wait until Higgins’ intentions are certain before they make a decision on whether they will run a candidate.
“We’ll see what the President decides to do,” said Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) and Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar while Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin also stated that his party was to wait for a definite public decision from Higgins.
Higgins was first elected in 2011 carrying 39.6% of the vote. He is generally regarded as a popular President. A public poll on Irish site TheJournal.ie currently shows 76% believing that he has been a good President.
Would you like to see Michael D. Higgins have a second term as President of Ireland? Who would you like to see run against him? Let us know in the comments section, below.