Wednesday 22 November 2017

In a very real sense, the opposite of presidential

Spending decades working in defiance of the State and then lying about it are not great qualifications for this job, says Michael McDowell

THERE is something unusual about this presidential election. The Constitution envisages that there could be a multiplicity of candidates by conferring a right of nomination on any 20 members of the Oireachtas (and, between TDs and senators, there are more than 220 of them) and on four county councils (of which there are more than 30).

Given that relatively liberal threshold for candidacy, it should come as no surprise that there could be up to seven candidates in the field when nominations close.

Our focus, then, should not really be on the number of candidates as much as on the suitability of those candidates for the highest office under our Constitution.

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