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Doherty Welcomes New 6 Month By-Election Proposal

30 June, 2011 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Fein Donegal South West TD Pearse Doherty has today welcomed the proposal in the Electoral Amendment Bill 2011 to hold Dail by-elections within 6 months of a seat becoming vacant. He also called for the Government to withdraw the by-election Supreme Court appeal initiated by the last Government following Deputy Doherty’s successful High Court action forcing the Donegal South West by-election in November last year.

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Electoral Amendment Bill 2011 includes a proposal which if passed into law would require a Government to hold a Dáil by-election within six months of a seat becoming vacant.

“Having spent months challenging the failure of the last Government to hold a by-election in Donegal South West, I want to welcome the proposed six month rule contained in the Electoral Amendment Bill.

“It is completely unacceptable for voters to be left without effective Dáil representation for months on end while a Government refuses to call a by election. In my own case the last Government left the people of Donegal South West with insufficient representation for more than 500 days.

“Following Sinn Féin’s high court victory on this matter last November, the then Government initiated an appeal to the Supreme Court which is being pursued by the current government.

“On the basis that the new Government is now legislating for the change that I secured in the high court they must now withdraw this farcical and costly appeal as it is nothing more than a waste of taxpayers money.” ENDS

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