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Yes, but the President does have leverage. She can appoint the new Commissioner to a meaningless portfolio if she doesn't like the choice(s) she's given.

There are now three main candidates - Simon Coveney (the government favourite), Mairead McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald. Simon Coveney (48) has been an MEP and Deputy Prime Minister, and is currently Foreign Minister. Francis Fitzgerald (70) is a former Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and first time MEP. Mairead McGuinness (61) is first vice President of the European Parliament with a good chance of becoming President next time around. She lacks Ministerial experience but is said to be highly though of by Ursula VD Leyen.

Coveney only wants the job if he is guaranteed a senior portfolio. There is talk of nominating him and Fitzgerald as a decoy runner in the expectation VD Leyen will pick Coveney.

It really is an invidious position to put any senior politician in: Expecting them to accept a place on a short-list not knowing if they will e picked and if, so, to what portfolio. We do not wan a situation where Coveney is nominated and then turns down the job if he doesn't like the portfolio. Hugely damaging to all concerned.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 1st, 2020 at 03:11:49 PM EST
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