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Thirty-second amendment of the Constitution (abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013: Second Stage (resumed)

Vote from 25/06/2013

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The Bill provides that Seanad Éireann is to be abolished and, in consequence of its abolition, amends provisions of the Constitution that confer functions on Seanad Éireann or that are premised on the existence of that House.

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Background information

The Bill provides that Seanad Éireann is to be abolished and, in consequence of its abolition, amends provisions of the Constitution that confer functions on Seanad Éireann or that are premised on the existence of that House.

Amendment moved by Deputy Catherine Murphy:
This amendment deals with nominations for President The all-party Joint Committee on the Constitution recommended in its final report that the number of Deputies required to nominate a candidate in presidential elections should be reduced from 14 to ten Ten Deputies would be the equivalent of 100,000 first preference votes, which is a high bar in itself. We have an opportunity with this referendum to make the change it recommended.

"In changing the number of nominating Deputies we have an opportunity to enhance citizens’ choices in presidential elections A candidate can secure a nomination with the backing of four councils but, as we saw in the previous election, there can be considerable political interference in the form of instructions from head offices to various councillors to the effect that they should not support certain candidates It is reasonable to reduce the number from 14 to ten given that it has been recommended by the all-party committee and I commend the amendment to the House"

At present, a candidate in a presidential election can be nominated by 20 Members of the Houses or by four county councils, in the eventuality of the abolition of the Seanad, this would result in the removal of 60 Members of the Oireachtas and could have a limiting effect on the ability of the Oireachtas to nominate presidential candidates.

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