seanad democrats michael mcdowell former pd david begg
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Former minister for justice and leader of the Progressive Democrats Michael McDowell will be a candidate for the election to the new Seanad.
Mr McDowell confirmed on Wednesday he will be running on the National University of Ireland panel which will elect three members of the incoming Seanad.
Nominations for the two university panels close at noon on Thursday.
Former general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions David Begg also announced today that he be standing for election on the NUI Panel.
Mr McDowell, who campaigned against the abolition of the Seanad in the referendum on the issue in 2013, is being proposed by outgoing NUI senator Fergal Quinn and seconded by former NUI senator, John A Murphy.
He told The Irish Times his campaign will focus on the need to reform the Seanad and open up the election to the entire voting population.
Mr McDowell was the legal advisor to the working group, established by the Government and chaired by former senator Maurice Manning, which recommended sweeping changes in how the Seanad is elected.
“There have to be sweeping changes in how the Seanad is elected. The report showed how this could be done without the necessity of a referendum and I will be campaigning to ensure that the report is implemented,” said Mr McDowell.
The report recommended that everybody on the electoral register be allowed to vote on one of the vocational panels or the university panel.
Just one of the three outgoing NUI senators, Ronan Mullen, is seeking reelection. The other two, Fergal Quinn and John Crown, are not running again.
By Wednesday evening more than 20 people had been nominated to run on the NUI panel, which has an electorate of more than 110,000.
There have been eight nominations for the three seats on the Trinity College panel.