Gay Mitchell: I want to be the next President
Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell has thrown his hat into the ring for the Fine Gael presidential nomination.
Although he ruled himself out of the contest last year, he said he had reconsidered when former leader John Bruton said he would not run, because so many of his colleagues wanted him to stand.
Mr Mitchell, who said his political approach was informed by "a Christian Democratic ethos, based on four pillars: rights and responsibilities, enterprise and social justice", contested the Fine Gael leadership contest against Enda Kenny in 2002.
A former Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr Mitchell topped the poll in Dublin in the last European elections.
He said today: “I want to advance this ethos in public life and I see the Presidency as another way of doing so. My belief is that this ethos, if applied sensibly, will help equip Ireland to overcome some of our present economic and ethical difficulties and make us a country which others will want to emulate.”
The only other confirmed candidate for the Fine Gael nomination is MEP Mairead McGuinness, although there has also been speculation about the plans of former PD and European Parliament President Pat Cox, who has applied to join the party.