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MacLochlainn welcomes Spain's reversal of Basque political ban

9 May, 2011 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Commenting on the recent news that Spanish authorities have decided to reverse a decision to ban the new Basque political coalition from contesting in upcoming Basque local elections, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Pádraig MacLochlainn said that the Spanish Supreme Court's initial decision was a denial of civil and political rights to thousands of people of the Basque country. 

He said: 

" The initial Spanish Supreme Court's decision to ban Bildu  from running candidates in the upcoming Basque municipal and provincial  elections would have been a complete denial of civil and political rights, not only to those wishing to run, but to the thousands of Basque citizens wishing to vote for Bildu  candidates. 

"Such a draconian decision would have done nothing to promote and support a Basque peace process, rather, it would have proved as antagonistic. 

"It is un- democratic to ban any political party; in this case, candidates which actively promote the need for a resolution to the Basque conflict through peaceful and democratic means.

"I welcome the decision by Spanish Constitutional Court to reverse the decision to ban Bildu and to allow the party to run in upcoming elections. It is essential that the Spanish Government creates a spirit of inclusiveness if they wish to build upon the Basque's most recent political efforts for creating a lasting peace.

"It is the right move towards helping build a permanent solution to the Basque conflict." 

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