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Democracy must prevail in Basque Country – MacLochlainn

11 May, 2011 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Following his recent comments welcoming the decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court to reverse the banning of the Basque political coalition Bildu, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Pádraig MacLochlainn has re-stated that SORTU candidates must also be allowed to contest the upcoming municipal and provincial elections taking place this 22nd of May if democracy is to prevail in the Basque Country.

He said:

“In recent days I have welcomed the reversal of the Spanish Supreme Court's decision to ban Bildu from running in upcoming elections. It is therefore essential that the logic which applies to that decision is also applied to SORTU, whose candidates remain banned by the Spanish Government.

“The banning of any political party is undemocratic. SORTU are completely committed to resolving the Basque conflict through peaceful and democratic means. Indeed, the statement which all candidates of Bildu have signed rejecting political violence copper fastens that fact.

“The refusal to allow SORTU candidates contest the upcoming elections is an absolute restriction of Basque nationalists' civil liberties. The Basque electorate have a right to a broad spectrum of politics on the ballot paper.

“The logic of the Spanish Constitutional Court's recent ruling which states, ‘Pure suspicion cannot constitute a legally acceptable argument for excluding anyone from exercising their fundamental right to political participation’, must therefore apply to SORTU. I am hopeful the application of that ruling to SORTU candidates will be their next step.” ENDS

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