NOMINATIONS: TWO OF the three Libertas candidates in the European election have named relatives on their replacement lists.
Parties and individuals contesting the European Parliament election are expected to nominate replacements so that in the event of their giving up the seat it can be filled without a byelection.
The Libertas candidate in the East constituency, Raymond O’Malley, has named two replacements, his wife Pauline and his brother Edward.
Party leader Declan Ganley has named his brother Seán second on his list of replacements.
A Libertas spokesman said that Mr Ganley’s primary substitute is Dr Chris Coughlan who has no “blood relationship” with Mr Ganley, and has “an intimate knowledge of the economy and Irish business”.
He added that Libertas candidates have given a commitment to serve their full terms if elected, and that the substitute provision would only be used in the event of an unforeseen tragedy.
Caroline Simons, the Libertas candidate in Dublin, has not nominated any substitutes.
None of the other political parties standing in the European election has nominated family members of the candidates to their replacement lists.
Most of the party replacement lists are headed by the party running mate in the constituency, if there is one.
Otherwise they are prominent people in the party organisation in the relevant constituency.
Replacement lists are important in the European elections as substitute candidates have regularly been called on to serve in the parliament when sitting MEPs have moved on to take other political appointments.
The current Fine Gael MEP for the South, Colm Burke, a candidate in this election, was a replacement candidate in 2004.
In 2007 he took over the European Parliament seat won by Simon Coveney when Mr Coveney opted to run for the Dáil in the general election.
Seán Ó Neachtain, the outgoing Fianna Fáil MEP in North-West who withdrew at the last minute, initially took his place in the parliament as a replacement candidate and he successfully defended the seat in 2004.