Daniel Long, one of the Macra presidential candidates, has called for an independent scrutineer to be agreed upon by both candidates running for president and has said he will not be taking part in the count on Wednesday.

Long told the Irish Farmers Journal that he is not pulling out of the race but will “not be partaking in the count in its current form” on Wednesday 7 April at the Irish Farm Centre. He is running against Laois farmer John Keane.

“I feel it’s not unreasonable to ask that an independent scrutineer be an agreed person by both candidates in the interest of transparency and fairness,” he said.

Long said he has emailed his concerns to the presiding officer and said the response has been “unsatisfactory to say the least”.

The Tipperary man said that he accepts that this is a situation of no individuals making “but the result of bureaucratic laziness”.

“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,” he said.

Independent scrutineer

John Donoghue, the CEO of ifac, is the independent scrutineer overseeing the count.

Macra na Feirme president and election returning officer Thomas Duffy confirmed that John Donoghue was selected as the independent scrutineer for the presidential and Munster vice presidential elections.

“Macra na Feirme and our election candidates are fortunate to have someone of John’s experience, credibility and independence observe our election count on Wednesday 7 April.

“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,” he said.