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Referendum should follow if NAMA legislation is passed – Sinn Féin

14 September, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan has called for a referendum on the NAMA legislation if it is passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas. The party launched a Draft Petition to the President under Article 27 of the Constitution which provides that the President may refuse to sign a Bill if it “contains a proposal of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained”.

The Petition would require the signatures of a majority of Senators and a third of TDs and Sinn Féin has appealed to all Oireachtas members to sign in the event of the legislation being passed.

Deputy Morgan said: “The consequences of NAMA are so serious for the Irish people today and for future generations that the legislation should be referred to the vote of the people. Article 27 of the Constitution provides the mechanism for such a referendum. This has never been done before but if ever there was a Bill that contains proposals of such national importance that the will of the people should be sought then NAMA is it.

“The Government can facilitate a referendum now by signalling that if the NAMA legislation is passed then its TDs and Senators will support the Petition under Article 27. If the Government refuses to do so then a majority of the Seanad and a third of the Dáil can ensure that the Petition goes to the President. There is a special onus, therefore, on Senators, including those appointed by the Taoiseach such as Dan Boyle and Deirdre de Burca of the Green Party, to put the people first.

“As we state in our draft of the Petition, NAMA would place an intolerable burden on State finances for the benefit of private property speculators, developers and corrupt bankers. It would penalise our citizens now and in the future, entailing cuts in vital public services and higher taxes and levies which will fall most heavily on the weaker sections of the community.

“Let the people decide.” ENDS

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