Higgins re-elected Irish President

Dublin, Oct 28 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 10/28/2018 11:42:07 AM IST

Michael D Higgins has been re-elected as Irish president after receiving 56% of the country’s election vote, BBC reported.

Businessman Peter Casey came second with 23.1%, while none of the other four candidates polled more than 10%.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she was “disappointed”, but felt it was wrong for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to “sit on the sidelines” in the election.

Voters also supported the proposal to remove blasphemy as an offence from the Constitution, with 64.85% voting yes.

Mr Higgins, the first incumbent in 50 years to face a challenge in his bid for a second term, won with 822,566 votes.

Londonderry businessman Peter Casey took significantly more votes than the final opinion polls of the campaign had predicted. His final tally was 342,727.

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ni Riada got 93,987 votes - 6.4% of the total votes polled.

“I am not sorry that we had an election - I think it was wrong for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to sit on the sidelines,” Ms McDonald told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme.

“We decided to challenge in the election - the other parties didn’t.”

She added: “I think my leadership would have rightly been called into question if I fell in line with Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar.

“Of course I’m disappointed. I would have liked a better showing for Liadh [Ni Riada]but that was not to be. “You learn from every contest. You learn from every encounter that you have with the electorate and we’ll certainly learn from this.”


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