THE PRESIDENTIAL HOPES of Fianna Fáil senator Labhrás Ó Murchú will hinge on the party’s TDs and senators being free to nominate whichever candidate they choose, he has said this evening.
Ó Murchú has told TheJournal.ie that he has the definite support of 10 members of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party – which numbers 33 – including himself as well as the backing of five independent Oireachtas members.
The 72-year-old said he has five other independent TDs and senators who are seriously considering nominating him and furthermore believes he would have “no problem” in getting extra support from Fianna Fáil if needed but that will hinge on the party allowing an open vote.
He maintained that he will run on an independent platform, acknowledging if Fianna Fáil doesn’t allow a free vote “I don’t have enough support” from independents, admitting his bid for the Áras would be over.
The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party will meet at 11am tomorrow morning and the senator says he expects a decision by the afternoon.
“I am seeking a free vote to allow a number of people to nominate here,” adding that the issue appeared to centre on the leadership of Micheál Martin and other senior party figures and what they decide.
Commenting on the entry of Dana Rosemary Scallon into the race today, Ó Murchú added: “There’s no doubt that she needs the support [of Fianna Fáil] but there are enough votes within Fianna Fáil to support two candidates.”