Ir­ish pres­i­dent wins 2nd term with 55.8% amid low turnout

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - PEOPLE & ARTS -

LON­DON — Michael Hig­gins hand­ily won a sec­ond term as Ire­land’s pres­i­dent Satur­day, cap­tur­ing every con­stituency in an elec­tion that was marked by low turnout.

The 77-year-old Hig­gins re­ceived 55.8 per­cent of the vote in Fri­day’s vote, which was con­tested by six can­di­dates.

The Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per es­ti­mated that turnout was less than 45 per­cent, the low­est ever for a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

“The pres­i­dency be­longs not only to any one per­son but to the peo­ple of Ire­land,” Hig­gins said.

Vot­ers also over­whelm­ingly backed re­mov­ing the of­fence of blas­phemy from the Ir­ish con­sti­tu­tion. It was the lat­est in a se­ries of mea­sures that have seen the over­whelm­ingly Ro­man Catholic coun­try step back from the re­li­gion’s in­flu­ence over gov­ern­ment.

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