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Register Figures Confirm Sinn Féin Fears

4 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Vice President and the party's Director of Elections Pat Doherty MP has said that the publication today of the electoral register showing another drop of around 20,000 people 'should act as a wake up call the British government that they cannot continue to allow the register to be shredded year on year and that the current legislation needs to be amended'.

Mr Doherty said:

" The publication today of the electoral register under which the forthcoming six county EU election will be fought confirms what Sinn Féin have been saying for sometime. The current legislation will ensure that the register will be shredded year upon year and public confidence in the electoral process will continue to fall. On this occasion we are witnessing a drop of around another 20,000 voters.

" This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The legislation which was passed at the behest of the SDLP and the unionists is discriminatory and it must be amended. None of the parties who supported this legislation nor the British government have yet given an explanation of the massive and growing discrepancy which exists between the census returns and the electoral register.

" Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for the restoration of the basic right to vote. We will continue to lobby a wide section of opinion both here and abroad in our efforts to get this legislation amended. What we are witnessing is in effect electoral fraud on a massive scale." ENDS

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