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Electoral Office accused of living in cloud cuckoo land

8 September, 2005

Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has accused the Electoral Office of 'living in cloud cuckoo land' after the Assistant Chief Electoral Officer June Butler heralded the registration programme adopted in the Six Counties as the 'way ahead'.

Ms Gildernew said:

"It is deeply disturbing that the Electoral Office should be holding up its registration programme as the 'way ahead' at a time when all of the available evidence shows that thousands of people have had their democratic entitlements denied because they have been wiped off the register.

"If the registration is such a success then why are we about to get changes to the legislation to try and combat the shredding of the electoral register. Even the British government now accept that there is a serious problem.

"Sinn Féin has raised our serious concerns about the disenfranchisement of people, particularly people with disabilities, young people and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds with the Equality Commission.

"If anyone working within the Electoral Office thinks that the registration programme is a success they are living in cloud cuckoo land. How could anyone possibly describe the disenfranchisement of 200,000 people as the way ahead?" ENDS

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