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Michael Higgins wins second term as Ireland’s president
Oct. 27 (UPI) — Irish President Michael Higgins will serve a second term, keeping his job for seven more years, a victory won by a smaller majority than predicted.
Higgins, who has served as the country’s head of state since 2011, took 56 percent of the vote in Friday’s election, second to contender Peter Casey who took 23 percent of the vote.
Higgins, a writer and poet, has served at almost every level of public office during the last five decades including as mayor, senator, lawmaker in the Irish parliament and Minister for Culture in the 1990s.
Casey, born in the Northern Ireland city of Derry, is a businessman now based in the United States. Casey has been critical of the welfare situation in Ireland and also has criticized the president over expenses and how transparent his spending is to the taxpayer.
Voters on Friday also determined whether to remove the offense of blasphemy from the constitution. Results of the referendum were not announced on Saturday.