Gay Irish Senator David Norris has secured the nomination to stand for the Irish presidency.
Former IRA local commander-turned-politician Martin McGuinness will have to defeat an openly gay senator and a popular Labour party politician, among others, if he is to become president of the Republic of Ireland, it emerged Wednesday as the election ballot was finalized.
Sen. David Norris completed an extraordinary comeback Tuesday, securing the political backing he needed to get onto the ballot after withdrawing over a sex scandal in August, then changing his mind and jumping back into the race.
He leads the field, according to an opinion poll published in the Sunday Business Post this week, followed by Michael D. Higgins of the Labour Party and McGuinness, the Sinn Fein politician who stepped down as deputy first minister of Northern Ireland to run for president of the republic.
Gay Irish senator David Norris has succeeded in securing the backing of the four local councils he needs to get his name on the ballot paper in the October 27 presidential election.
The long-time champion of gay rights is now expected to be one of a record seven candidates, including former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, who will be chasing the largely ceremonial head-of-state job when nominations close on Wednesday.
Another independent candidate, former MEP and 1970 Eurovision song contest winner Dana Rosemary Scallon, said she was “just thrilled” after she also secured the necessary backing of councils on Tuesday.
Scallon was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1997 presidential election when President Mary McAleese was elected for her first seven-year term.
Under Ireland’s constitution, those seeking to succeed McAleese need either the backing of 20 parliamentarians or four councils to get on the ballot paper.
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