Local support for David Norris's bid to rejoin the presidential campaign may result in a surprise announcement tonight, Friday. Over 1,000 people signed a petition on Patrick’s Street this week, seeking the Independent senator's return to the race after he withdrew last month following controversy over a letter he wrote appealing for clemency for his former partner Ezra Nawi, who was convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy in the 1990’s.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Senator Norris might be reconsidering his decision to withdraw after the outpouring of public support along with the urgings of independent TDs and senators. The online and offline petition, We Want Norris, which spearheaded the public campaign, has collected an estimated total of 10,000 signatures nationwide.
We Want Norris campaign organiser Ronan Mooney said that the reaction from the people of Cork was “nothing short of incredible”.
“The fact that in 12 hours over two days we collected 1,000 signatures shows that many people in Cork want to have their say in this election. They feel strongly that David Norris should be on their ballot paper and also feel that they are best placed to decide who should run for President rather than the undemocratic method current legislation imposes,” he said. “The positive feedback included offers of help to the campaign, in one instance kisses and hugs for one of our petition collectors from a lady who felt so relieved that something was being done and an overwhelming message to David Norris that he is wanted in this race."
He added: “For those who signed the petition, they didn't want to vote for anyone else with many stating they would spoil their vote if David Norris did not appear on their ballot paper. The people of Cork have spoken and now want their elected officials, their councillors, TD's and senators to let them have their say in this election.”