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Will it be Ryan or Martin? Voting closes in the Green Party's leadership contest

Counting will begin tomorrow morning with a result expected between 2pm and 3pm.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated Jul 22nd 2020, 5:42 PM

VOTING HAS NOW closed in the Green Party leadership contest with results expected tomorrow afternoon. 

Eamon Ryan will be hoping to remain Green Party leader – a post he has held since 2011 – as party members choose between him and deputy leader Catherine Martin. 

Every Green Party member has been sent a postal ballot  – 2,336 in the Republic of Ireland and 598 in Northern Ireland – with the deadline for receipt of ballots passing at 5:30pm today. 

Counting will begin tomorrow morning with a result expected between 2pm and 3pm. As of Tuesday afternoon, 1,673 postal ballots had been returned. 

Counting will be overseen by independent auditors while observers from both of the candidates will also be present.

In recent weeks, both the leader and deputy Leader have made their pitch for leadership. 

Speaking last week, Martin said she wanted to succeed Ryan so she could work for her membership to realise her party’s goals in Government. 

Martin said the party leadership “must be committed to the greenway or the highway”.

Of course, experience is “a valuable attribute”, said Martin, but added that it should not be a “prerequisite” to be the leader of the party.

“We have to be careful not to over emphasise” it, she said, stating that experience and leadership should not be put on a pedestal. She said now is the time for new, calculated risks to be taken. 

Ryan last week said: “I want to stay on as leader. I want the job.”

He said his experience as leader of the party is important, highlighting that he will be chairing the government’s sub-committee on climate action. He said he has experience dealing with Europe and said he has worked hard over the last ten years to get the party where it is today.

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Speaking about Dublin, he said over the years he has looked at each street in the capital and thought about how it can be changed around to make it more accessible to all. 

Now is the time to “grab” Covid as an opportunity to deliver that change. 

Ryan said he wants to turn “decades of thinking and put it into action”, stating that as leader with the most experience he has the ability to make changes “quicker, faster, bigger and better for all”.

Ryan came under fire last week after falling asleep as he was called on to vote during a motion on workers’ rights.

Ryan acknowledged that the incident could damage his prospects in the Green Party’s leadership election.

“It may well do, but I’d have to say to the members of the Green Party that under my leadership, which has been the most successful period in the history of the party… we’ve a parliamentary party of [12 TDs and 4 senators] in the Dáil,” he said on Sunday. 

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