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Independent group seeks candidates for General Election

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Independent group seeks candidates for General Election


Anton McNulty

THE Independent political group who are advertising for candidates to run in the next General Election have admitted they have a number of individuals in mind who they would like to see put their hat in the ring.
1st Independent Mayo have placed advertisements in the local newspapers and in the Irish Independent seeking a candidate with ‘exceptional leadership and communication skills’ to run as an independent candidate in the next General Election.
The successful candidates will then put forward their proposals and policies to the electorate in a series of town hall style meetings throughout the county. The winning candidate or candidates will be selected by a selection convention by voters who have registered themselves as Independent similar to a US primary caucus.
Spokesperson for 1st Independent Mayo, Martin Daly told The Mayo News that they are looking for ‘strong credible candidates’ who were not members of registered political parties to put their name forward. He said the selection process is unique to Ireland and that they have a number of candidates in mind who they would like to see put their name forward.
“We have people in mind but we have not received an application yet [but] I think it would be great if they applied. We sent the ad out to one or two people already. We spoke to one person already who is a high achiever who is interested but will have to talk to his wife. He is a person I admire and fingers crossed he will agree,” he said.
‘Highest standard’
Mr Daly explained that whoever the candidates are they will have to be the highest standard of Independent candidate possible and not interested in just parochial issues. Mr Daly was an unsuccessful Independent candidate in Mayo in the last General Election and will not be running again but believes they can be successful in getting an independent elected.
Potential candidates have until March 20 to apply to run on the 1st Independent Mayo ticket and Mr Daly said they hope to have five candidates to go through the selection process. The town hall style meetings will take place between April and August when the preferred candidate or candidates will be chosen to run in the next General Election.
Mr Daly said that the public had lost confidence in conventional party politics and the economic crisis showed that capable politicians were not ‘at the helm’ when hard decisions needed to be made. He added the current independent councillors were welcome to apply but stressed they had to be ‘genuinely independent’.
“We would consider ourselves to be pluralistic and not like to be labelled conservative or left wing. It is time we put an end to parties and ideas being put before people. We are at a cross-roads and we have to decide on serious decisions that need to be made,” he said.