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Time to allow northern citizens and citizens abroad to vote for president - Adams

28 September, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD


The Sinn Féin delegation to today’s meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Malahide, Dublin, is made up of the party president Gerry Adams TD, the north’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA and the party deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD.

Speaking earlier in Malahide, Gerry Adams TD said:

“The issue of voting rights in presidential elections for Irish citizens living in the north and those living abroad is an important one for all democrats, but particularly for citizens in the north.

“The right to vote was hard fought for there in our own lifetime. It is a fundamental human right. The fact that Irish citizens living across the border cannot vote for the President of Ireland is another anomaly of partition, but it is also a form of discrimination against citizens of this state.

“President Michael D Higgins and before him, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese, spoke and acted as presidents of all of this island. This is how they are regarded in the north too. It is time to allow the people of the north and those who have left our shores to vote in presidential elections.”

Speaking in advance of his formal comments to the Convention during the afternoon MLA panel on the northern vote, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said:

“Sinn Féin isn’t just looking for votes for republicans or nationalists in the north.  Unionists also deserve the opportunity, if they wish to exercise it, to elect the president.  Such a step forward would be an important advance on the journey towards fairness and democratic rights for everyone.”

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