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Government refusal to hold by-elections an abuse of power – Adams

29 July, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said the Government’s determination to deny the citizens of three constituencies their proper representation in the Dáil is an abuse of power.

Speaking at the High Court today Mr Adams said Sinn Féin wants to see all three outstanding by-elections take place at the earliest opportunity and the case taken by Senator Pearse Doherty is part of ongoing efforts to force the Government to live up to its democratic responsibilities.

Mr Adams said:

“The refusal of the Government to grant the people of Donegal South West, Dublin South and Waterford their democratic rights is a serious abuse of power. They have put democracy on hold in these three constituencies to suit their own narrow party political agenda.

“It is a disgrace that the government had to be forced into court today to answer for their behaviour and it is an even bigger disgrace that they are going to waste taxpayers’ money and time fighting this case in an attempt to postpone the inevitable.

“The right to the vote and to representation was hard fought for by men and women on this island over many generations. It is disgraceful that any government can so easily push that right to one side. There is no legitimate reason to delay the holding of by-elections. They are running scared from the people.

“And while the Government refuses to hold these by-elections it has been making some very serious decisions which affect the every day lives of ordinary citizens such as the decision to cut social welfare rates, the decision to pump further billions into Anglo Irish Bank and to cut services for people with disabilities.

“Sinn Féin wants to see all three outstanding by-elections to take place at the earliest opportunity. I want to once again commend Senator Pearse Doherty for taking this case which is part of the ongoing efforts by this party to force the Government to live up to it’s democratic responsibilities.” ENDS

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