Government must intervene to ensure Chilean residents in Ireland can vote in referendum - John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD has called for the government to intervene in order to facilitate the participation of Chilean residents in Ireland in this Sunday’s historic election referendum in Chile.
Teachta Brady commented:
“This coming Sunday the citizens of Chile will go to the polls to vote in a referendum for only the second time in their history.
"Chile is a country with a tragic past, that has had to contend with considerable challenges in order to re-establish itself as a democracy.
"The passion of the Chilean people here in Ireland around the referendum is testament to what it means to a people who were denied the opportunity in the past to be offered the chance to shape their, and their countries future at the ballot box.
"I believe that we in the Oireachtas, as democrats and as individuals, are bound to defend and pursue the principles of democracy bear a responsibility to do everything that we can within our capabilities to empower the Chilean community in Ireland to vote in this referendum.
"Chile has no provision for postal votes. This means that citizens must attend in person to cast their ballot.
"Under Level 5 guidelines on restrictions, voting will not now be allowed to take place in Dublin.
"There are 373 Chilean residents in Ireland registered to vote on Sunday. The Chilean Embassy had worked with the relevant authorities to ensure that the referendum could proceed under Level 3 restrictions.
"Provision had been made for individuals to vote by appointment, with voting taking place in the garden of the Embassy under a marquee specially erected for the occasion.
"Sanitizing stations are in place, masks available, and plans ready for regular deep sanitisation of the area throughout the day.
"However, the move to Level 5, prohibits the voting to proceed.
"I have written to both the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien on this issue,
"I would appeal to them both to engage with the Chilean Embassy in Dublin to ensure that on the eve of Ireland taking up its position on the UN National Security Council, that Ireland is seen to be as a country where the principles of international democracy are both protected, celebrated and shared with all citizens resident on our Island."