Newton Emerson: Sinn Féin’s presidential bid risks leaving it exposed
The symbolic all-Ireland posturing of SF’s 2011 campaign will heighten tensions in 2018
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Sinn Féin’s official reason for running a presidential candidate is that the Irish people deserve a choice – a stance given sting by the unvoiced fact that President Higgins promised not to run again.
Political opponents have replied that Sinn Féin always appoints its party presidents by coronation – a riposte given sting by the fact that, as far as is known, it still considers itself the true government of Ireland.