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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

Bill Clinton for the Áras?

Former US president says that he could in theory run for president in Ireland and also France.

Taoiseach Albert Reynolds presents President Bill Clinton with a bowl of Shamrock.
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds presents President Bill Clinton with a bowl of Shamrock.
Image: Photocall Ireland

FORMER US PRESIDENT Bill Clinton says he could in theory run for the Irish presidency.

Speaking to CNN, the 66-year-old Arkansas native said that his Irish heritage made him elibible to run for office here, although he would have to buy a house first.

“The only two countries I’m eligible to run for the leadership position is if I move to Ireland and buy a house, I can run for president of Ireland because of my Irish heritage,” he told CNN.

Clinton’s claims appear rusty. To be eligible for election as President, you must be an Irish citizen and over 35 years of age.  However,uUnless at least one parent or grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry according to the Citizen’s Information Bureau.

Clinton also said he could run for the French presidency, although his French was rusty.

“And because I was born in Arkansas, which is part of the Louisiana Purchase” — land which the United States bought from France in 1803 to settle French territorial claims — he could also run for office in France.

“Any person anywhere in the world that was born in a place that ever was a part of the French empire, if you move to, if you live in France for six months and speak French you can run for president of France,” said Clinton.

Speaking in the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, he said that he once polled well in a theoretical survey of his chances in a French presidential election.

“And I said, you know, ‘This is great.’ But that’s the best I’d ever do because once they heard my broken French with a southern accent I would drop into single digits within a week and I’d be toast.”

Bill Clinton to give talk at University Limerick in November>

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