One candidate of the two hoping to be elected as the next national president of Macra na Feirme has called for an independent scrutineer that is an “agreed person by both candidates” to be appointed to oversee this week’s election count.

The candidate, Daniel Long, said that he will not be attending the election count, which is due to take place tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, April 7) in the Irish Farm Centre at 2:00pm.

In a message circulated to members of the young farmers’ association in recent days, Long from South Tipperary Macra claimed:

“Over the past number of weeks I have had genuine concerns over the transparency and fairness of the count given I am very much a candidate from the outside and my opponent is a current sitting board member and the presiding officer also sits on the same board.

Taking all those factors into account I feel it’s not unreasonable to ask that the independent scrutineer be an agreed person by both candidates in the interest of transparency and fairness given that the scrutineer is ultimately an appointment of the board and a selection I have had no input in.

Long said that he will not be at the Irish Farm Centre, where the count will take place from 2:00pm tomorrow (Wednesday, April 7), stating:

“I feel, given my campaign is based on transparency and member involvement, it would be disingenuous of me to attend the count or partake in it in any way given my concerns around the count’s independence.”

Yesterday evening Macra announced the appointment of John Donoghue as its independent scrutineer for tomorrow’s count.

In addition, according to Macra rules, both candidates are allowed to have a scrutineer from their team oversee the count or can oversee the count themselves.

Announcing the appointment of Donoghue yesterday, current Macra president Thomas Duffy said:

“John has served as independent scrutineer on two previous elections.

“Election candidates are aware of the important role that the independent scrutineer fulfils, and that we are fortunate to have John available to undertake this role.”