Presidential election and choice


Sir, – Amid speculation that Michael D Higgins may seek a second term in the Áras, self-styled protectors of democracy are coming out to declare their own candidacies, ostensibly to uphold the integrity of the office, which they claim would be demeaned if not put to a vote.

Neither Michael Fitzmaurice nor Gerard Craughwell has expressed any genuine desire to be president themselves in the event that they should win the election.

Does it not diminish the presidency to declare a frivolous run for an office you do not wish to hold?

If Mr Higgins does indeed seek another term and is unopposed, it would not be the first time that an incumbent is automatically re-elected. Mary McAleese was re-inaugurated in 2004 when no other candidates secured the nomination against the popular incumbent. The Republic did not fall.

There is very little danger of the country slipping into autocracy if we do not assert our right to vote on this occasion.

The Constitution lays out a framework for how the election of a president should work. If a candidate has a genuine vision for the office and for the country – as Mr Higgins did when he ran – then they should by all means seek a nomination.

If they do not, then they should not waste our time and money. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.