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Former IRA leader set for Irish presidential bid

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Former IRA leader set for Irish presidential bid

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The Sinn Fein executive is expected to ratify Martin McGuinness’ candidacy to be elected President of Ireland.

He is likely to prove a divisive choice. McGuinness has been Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister since 2007. In past years, he was a commander in the IRA.

Those close to the debate say he is likely to face scrutiny over his paramilitary past, but some think his high profile involvement in the peace process should help boost the Sinn Fein vote.

The party is now the second largest opposition party in the Irish Republic’s lower house after parliamentary elections earlier this year. A McGuinness victory in the Irish presidential poll on October 27 would be another boost.