TDs hope to unveil alternative candidate
Published 04/08/2011 | 05:00
Independent TDs who previously supported David Norris are hoping to unveil a new candidate over the next three weeks.
Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath confirmed that he and other Independents were going to seek a new candidate.
Mr McGrath said they had a shortlist of three highly respected people -- "with no political baggage" -- in mind.
However, he said they had not contacted any of them yet and therefore would not be naming them in advance.
"We feel there's a big gap in the market now that David's gone off the pitch," he said.
Disillusioned Norris supporters are planning to spoil their ballots in protest at his absence from the presidential contest on October 27.
Mr McGrath urged them not to do so.
"I would be totally opposed to that because if a credible person is on the ballot paper, it could damage that person," he said.
But Norris supporters who feel he should still stand are pledging to write his name on the ballot paper. This would instantly turn the ballot into a spoiled vote.
The call has been made by the administrator of his unofficial Facebook page. Ronan Mooney said he and his fellow Norris supporters wanted to protest about what they claimed were "undemocratic" and "unfair" means of presidential candidate selection.
The move is unlikely to be supported by Mr Norris himself, who said that he hoped the election would be conducted in a way that was "dignified and respectful of the Office of President and of the remaining candidates".