British move on Electoral Register follows Sinn Féin campaign
Responding to the announcement by the British Minister John Spellar today that he intends to reinstate the Electoral Register carry forward and committing the British government to the abolition of the annual canvas Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said:
" This was a key issue which Sinn Féin have been raising publicly for some time and directly within the current negotiations. This is the context in which the British government have now moved to address the very obvious problem with the current electoral legislation.
" The announcement this morning by John Spellar to reinstate the electoral register carry forward will in the short term help alleviate some of the problems and is of course welcome. This measure needs to be put in place in advance of the planned May elections. But we have consistently said that the primary legislation itself needs amended and the parliamentary time for this to happen needs to be found as a matter of urgency.
" The current electoral legislation was introduced in particular at the behest of the SDLP and the unionists. It has resulted in tens of thousands of people being disenfranchised and the annual shredding of the electoral register. One of the most important aspects of today's announcement is the acceptance by the British government that the current arrangements are fundamentally flawed, undemocratic and need to be changed." ENDS