By Irish Echo Staff
To the surprise of very few, President Michael D. Higgins has revealed his intention to run for a second seven year term as Irish president.
In a statement released Tuesday, a presidential spokesman said: “President Michael D Higgins wishes to confirm that he will be offering himself as an independent candidate, under Article 12.4.4 of Bunreacht Na hÉireann, when the Ministerial Order for a Presidential Election is made later in the year.”
“The Government has been informed of this decision.
“The President’s programme of official duties and engagements continues.”
Back in the 2011, running for a first term, Mr. Higgins said that he would only serve one term.
That position evolved during the term.
In recent months speculation pointed to a second term bid by the generally popular Higgins and that was reinforced during the president’s visit to New York in April when he told reporters that he had the energy for, and interest in, a second term as Ireland’s constitutional head of state.
Mr. Higgins will not face a rival candidate from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil or the Labour Party (of which he was a member before his election in 2011) as all three have indicated they will not contest the election.
There are, however, a couple of independent candidates in the field and this weekend Sinn Féin is expected to decide whether or not it will field a candidate.
The party has indicated that it favors an election for the presidency rather than a clear run for Mr. Higgins.