Bertie will not run for mayor but is keeping Park open
FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will not even seek a nomination to be Fianna Fail's candidate for mayor of Dublin later this year.
But he refuses to rule out running for election in the presidential campaign next year.
Fianna Fail is trailing a poor third in the opinion polls behind Labour and Fine Gael in Dublin and the former Taoiseach's personal ratings have also plunged.
"No," was Mr Ahern's response yesterday when he was asked if he was interested in running for mayor.
However, he was less definite when he was asked if he would be a candidate in next year's presidential election: "It doesn't arise at the moment," he said.
A constituency colleague of the former Taoiseach's in Dublin Central said: "Bertie definitely knows there is no point in him running to be the first directly elected Mayor of Dublin but the matter has not been discussed in St Luke's.
"But we have not discussed him running for the presidency either and he will want to keep his options open."
Poll-topping Cork-based MEP Brian Crowley would almost certainly challenge the former three-term Taoiseach for the Fianna Fail nomination for the presidency.
Colleagues at St Luke's met there on Monday night but neither the mayoral or presidential elections were discussed at the premises.