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Sinn Féin Make Submission To NI Affairs Committee

19 April, 2004

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP this morning submitted a document to the NI Affairs Select Committee calling for the current legislation governing elections in the six counties to be amended as a matter of urgency.

Mr Doherty said:

" The current electoral legislation has seen a dramatic drop in the numbers of people registered to vote in the six counties. The discrepancy between the electoral register and the census figures is alarming. This figure taken with those that the electoral authorities estimate are registered but do not have photographic ID indicate that up to 211,000 people are currently being denied their right to vote.

" This situation cannot be allowed to continue. This morning I submitted a document to the NI Affairs Select Committee setting out the position as it currently stands and demanding that the legislation be amended. I will meet with the Committee in May to deliver an oral presentation.

" For an electoral process to be seen to be working fairly then basic principles need to be established. Central to this is the right to vote. At present the situation in the six counties does not guarantee that right. There is an obligation on the British government to amend this disastrous piece of discriminatory legislation and begin the process of restoring confidence in the electoral process." ENDS

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