Fine Gael to delay decision on presidential candidate until after President Higgins announcement

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Fine Gael will wait until President Michael D Higgins announces his intentions before deciding whether to field a presidential election candidate.

Mr Varadkar's comments come after Junior Minister Finian McGrath said there is a "cosy consensus" not to contest the election if the President wants a second term.

Fianna Fáil has already confirmed they will not field a candidate if President Higgins runs again.

The Taoiseach has said they are waiting to decide.

He said: "It's really up to candidates to come forward and seek nominations if they wish to.

"As far as Fine Gael is concerned, and speaking as leader of Fine Gael, we'll make a decision when President Higgins makes his announcement as to whether he's nominating himself for a second term as an independent.

"That's obviously a decision he'll make in the coming weeks and we think the respectful thing to do is to wait for him to do that first before making a decision ourselves."

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