The Presidency of the European Council

There has been a lot of talk lately about the collapse of the Tony Blair candidacy for President of the European Council (see Nosemonkey’s recent post for an explanation of all those councils!). I personally am thankful for that, but Blair is still holding out and hoping to get Angela Merkel’s backing for the post. I don’t see him getting the German Chancellors backing due to the whole Iraq War debacle.

So who will get it? Paddy Power have odds up for a few politicians and Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch Prime Minister, is currently favourite. While I think he would make a good Council President I think its time the EU stood up and appointed a woman to being the top post. With David Milliband looking likely as the Foreign Affairs portfolio, a female President would be excellent. (There is a twitter campaign for this by the way!) Paddy Power mention two women on their list, former Irish President, Mary Robinson and current Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

Mary Robinson has ruled herself out for the role, leaving Tarja Halonen the sole remaining mentioned female candidate. I am sure there are others. Julien Frisch has a post outlining why she could be a good President. She certainly has the experience!

So who will get it? If the Czech President Vaclav Klaus signs the Lisbon Treaty after the constitutional Court gives its verdict this week, there will be a special summit on the 11th and 12th of November to decide the names of those getting the new posts.

Who are you backing?

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The Next Election

Irish President Mary McAleese's entourage
Image via Wikipedia

The next nationw-wide election we are due to have in Ireland is (barring a sudden General Election) is a Presidential Election. This is due at the latest October 2010 2011, but I have a feeling President Mary McAlees will finish out her term. To run for President you need to be a citizen of the states, over 35 and nominated in one of the following ways:

  • by 20 members of the Oireachtas
  • by four county or city councils
  • or if an incumbent or former president if you served one term, you can nominate yourself

Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and Labour can each nominate on members of Oireachtas alone. There is a possibility of a Green/Ind candidate as they would have 21 members if they all backed one candidate.

Of course we hear many rumours about who will run and that, but here are what I have heard and a few predictions

Fianna Fail

There is no secret here that at Senator Mary White and MEP Brian Crowley both want the nomination. There is always talk of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern running but I don’t see him getting many votes outside of Dublin. I think Crowley will be the Fianna Fail Nominee.

Fine Gael

In contrast to Fianna Fail, the Fine Gael crowd dont seem to want to rock the boat. The names I have heard mentioned are Avril Doyle, Mairead McGuinness and Sean Kelly. All current or former MEP’s. I am not sure who the nominee could be. I’m thinking it could be Kelly vs McGuinness for the nomination.

Labour Party

Micheal D Higgins name normally features in these discussions, but age this time could work against him. Ruairi Quinn, who didnt get elected as Ceann Comhairle, could try and run for the presidency instead. Ivana Bacik also could be the nominee hoping to follow in Mary Robinsons footsteps. Of course Labour could try and get someone from the SDLP in the Noth to run, like Bríd Rogers. I’m putting my money on Bacik though.

Sinn Fein

As this term of office will include the centenary of 1916, Sinn Fein would love to hold the highest office in land. Gerry Adams, Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle Gildernew have all been mentioned as possible candidates. As there is a bit of rift in the party between North and South at the moment, the South might prefer to have Mary Lou as the nominee.

Green Party

Eamon Ryan wanted to run last time round, will he try to run again? Can’t really think of anyone else from the Green ranks.

Independents

Dana Rosemary Scanlon could try and run again for the Presidency. I wouldn’t put it past Kathy Sinnott to give it a run. David Norris probably wont run, but it would be great if he did. Mary Robinson could of course run again as she only served one term.

2010 2011 will be an interesting election. I wonder will I have gotten many right?

In the betting stakes according to Paddy Power, Bertie Ahern is favourite to be the Next Irish President at 2/1, he is followed by Brian Crowley at 4/1. Check out the rest!

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