McGuinness to run for Irish presidency
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will be the Sinn Féin candidate in the battle to become Irish President, the party has confirmed.
Friday, 16 September 2011
Mr McGuinness's name was put forward for recommendation to the Ard Chomhairle at a National Officer Board meeting on Friday.
If nominated on Sunday, the Mid Ulster MP will have to temporarily step aside as deputy first minister of the Stormont Executive.
A source has told UTV's Political Editor Ken Reid that the new Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister will be chosen from the party's existing ministers.
Party President Gerry Adams, who had ruled himself out of the race, said: "We need positive but authentic leadership."
It will be a great honour for me to propose Martin McGuinness to contest this election on a broad, republican, citizen-centred platform.
"I believe that this election will give Martin the platform to continue the work which he has led in the North and in the peace process and to put it on a national footing.
"I believe he can be the people's president."
"The campaign will give citizens the opportunity to make a stand for a better Ireland, for a united Ireland."
Mr Adams secured a seat in the Dáil in the Irish general election last February after resigning from both Westminster and Stormont.
Meanwhile, former Independent presidential candidate David Norris is expected to announce his decision to re-enter the presidential race when he appears on RTÉ's Late Late Show on Friday evening.
Senator Norris withdrew his bid for the Aras early last month after it emerged he had appealed to Israeli authorities for leniency for his ex-partner who was convicted of statutory rape.
He has urged the TDs to back him once again, amid a groundswell of public interest.
Eurovision winner Dana is expected to meet with Independent TDs to size up support for another attempt at the Aras.
Independents Mary Davis and Sean Gallagher officially became candidates on Monday after each secured the support of at least four councils.
They are on course to fight it out with frontrunner Labour's Michael D Higgins and Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell.
The Irish Presidential election will be held on 27 October.