Digital Desk Staff
The National Executive of the Social Democrats has been called upon to convene a leadership contest by two party councillors and a group of supporters.
In a letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, the group has called on the National Executive to convene a leadership contest, despite those seeking it saying Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall, the current co-leaders have done an “exceptional” job.
Were a contest to be held, sources in the party have confirmed that Cork South West TD Holly Cairns is the firm favourite to lead the party within the wider membership
In the letter they say “As enter the summer break, we as public representatives and party members have been reflecting, and looking at what is ahead for the Social Democrats. We are a party of activists and campaigners and the pandemic has slowed us down in that regard."
“We are now ready to move forward again. And we are looking to what lays ahead. We strongly believe that the party is ready for a new phase of development and growth,” the group said.
The group say that since 2015 the party has provided a real alternative to the established parties of the state.
“It is very evident that there is an appetite for the values we share amongst the public. Our four new and 18 councillors have proven themselves to be exceptional representatives, and community leaders.
“We the undersigned, are writing to, to request that you convene a meeting of the National Executive to activate article 7.3 of the Constitution.
“As you know, this article states that the National Executive can instigate a leadership contest within the party Such a motion shall require a two-thirds majority of the National Executive,” the letter states.
They say the move will solidify the vision of the Social Democratic as they prepare for the next elections, and will be a chance to “accept the collective voice of the members."
“Our current leadership have done exceptional work in attracting some of the most talented people from our civic society. It is now time for us to move to the next stage, a leadership contest would allow members to a direct say in the future direction of the party,” the letter adds.
One of the councillors, Chris Pender, confirmed he signed the letter and that he was uncomfortable with the lack of a contest after the 2020 General Election.