Irish senator David Norris officially launched his campaign for the presidency of Ireland on Monday. Norris is considered a serious contender for the office although as an unaffiliated candidate he faces a difficult task in getting his name on the ballot papers.
Norris, the Joycean academic and well known public figure, has been a member of the Irish Senate for 24 years. To run for the Irish presidency he needs to seek the nomination of four county councils, or the nomination of twenty members of the Irish National Parliament, in order to submit his nomination.
Without the support of a political party, Norris is expected to seek council nominations in order to run.
"I don’t have a party machine," Norris told the News at One on Monday. "At the moment, I am an independent. This, I believe, is a plus," he added, saying that his status would allow him to draw wide support from across the political spectrum.
Norris did not dismiss the idea of seeking the support of 20 members of the National Parliament, however – adding that the recent unprecedented general election returned 14 independent ministers, making the process of seeking a nomination much easier.
"All I’m asking for is an opportunity to put myself before the people," he said. "I am today announcing my application for the job of President."
Norris added that he didn’t think of himself as a prospective gay president, but rather a president who happens to be gay – saying he felt the public had become uninterested in discussing his sexuality.