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Deputy Metropolitan Mayor election labelled 'a shambles'

The election of a Deputy Metropolitan Mayor of Waterford has been labelled 'a shambles' by Sinn Fein Councillor Pat Fitzgerald.

A second election had to be held at last night's Metropolitan District meeting, as the one held at the District AGM last month had been deemed procedurally incorrect.

Cllr. Jim Griffin (Sinn Fein), Cllr. Jason Murphy (Fianna Fail) and Cllr. Jody Power (Green Party) had run against one another, with Cllr. Murphy elected. However, a second vote should have been held, omitting the candidate with the lowest number of votes, Jim Griffin.

Cllr. Murphy then stated his wish to not run in last night's election in order to uphold the integrity of the position.

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"It's a bit awkward for me to speak on this as I was deemed elected on the night. Having said that, what's important here is the dignity and integrity of the position. I have to look above party politics and personalities in relation to this. Going forward, we have to have the integrity of the position maintained and in that stead, if we're going to have a competition here tonight, to simplify things - I will withdraw my name. Whoever is elected tonight needs to have the full backing of the Council to retain the dignity of the position."

Council Director of Services, Mr. Fergus Galvin, then said that Cllr. Murphy could not withdraw, before the vote between Cllr. Murphy and Cllr. Power was held.

"If someone withdraws their name halfway through a poll, I'm not sure that's acceptable or procedurally correct. At the same time, there's no precedent for it. I don't think it's in our standing orders as far as I'm aware of."

The vote saw Cllr.Murphy win 13 votes and Cllr. Power received 5, but Cllr. Pat Fitzgerald took issue with Cllr. Power voting against himself and voting for Cllr. Murphy.

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"I think it looks worse now to be quite honest. A candidate voted for somebody else."

Metropolitan Mayor, Cllr. Seamus Ryan (Labour) interjected to remind Cllr. Fitzgerald that that decision was up to that candidate, but Cllr. Fitzgerald believed otherwise.

"It's not up to a candidate to put his name forward and then vote for somebody else. I think it's a proper shambles."

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