Sinn Féin will leave their candidate for the Presidential race undeclared until mid-September as the party searches for a figure to challenge Michael D Higgins for the Park.
A party committee will consider proposals for a candidate from regional bodies, a process that will take weeks, TD David Cullinane said.
Mr Higgins in recent weeks indicated he would nominate himself for the race, a move allowed under the Constitution. But it remains unknown how or if he will take part in a campaign, especially with a growing number of potential candidates considering entering the contest.
Michael D Higgins.
Nominations for Sinn Féin will be submitted by August 20 from cuige or regional bodies to the Sinn Féin leadership. The leadership or Ard Comhairle will then make its decision by September 16.
Party figures have confirmed that no one internally has expressed an interest in running yet.
Mr Cullinane also denied his party was “hiding away” a candidate by waiting so late in a race.
The process would allow the party candidate six weeks in the race potentially, added the Waterford TD.
“A six-week campaign is a long enough campaign. There is an opportunity in the next number of weeks to have a conversation about the type of society we want and campaign.”
“The candidate won’t be selected until September 16. The campaign proper won’t start until anyway,” added Mr Cullinane.