Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SDLP challenged on Registration Law

13 April, 2004

Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has said that concerns being expressed by the SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone about people with disabilities being refused access to the Electoral Register are 'hypocritical given the fact that the legislation being used to discriminate against them came at the behest of the SDLP'.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The legislation under which the registration process is conducted was introduced two years ago at the behest of the SDLP and the unionists. The result has been for 211,000 people to lose their vote. It directly discriminates against people with disabilities, low incomes, literacy problems and those seeking to vote for the first time.

"Sinn Féin has been campaigning for a change in the legislation for sometime. The SDLP are on public record as supporting the new regulations including those which Patsy McGlone now claims are discriminatory. People have a right to know what the SDLP position is. Do they believe as Mr McGlone claims that the legislation is discriminatory or do they support it, which has been the position over the past two years. The SDLP need to clarify their position.

"If they now believe the legislation to be flawed then they should join with Sinn Féin in demanding that the British government amend the Act and remove the discriminatory elements from the legislation and help restore public confidence in the Electoral process." ENDS

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