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Gregory Campbell silence over Dessie Stewart vote fraud challenged

24 October, 2006

Sinn Féin Coleraine councillor Billy Leonard has said that the sentencing of former DUP Coleraine Mayor Dessie Stewart today raises fundamental questions for East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell.

Cllr Leonard said:

"The admission of former DUP Coleraine Mayor Dessie Stewart that he was guilty of vote fraud in the last local government elections, that occurred on the same day as the Westminster elections, raises fundamental questions for the local DUP MP Gregory Campbell that cannot be brushed under the carpet.

"For many nationalists the constant lecturing from the DUP about the nature of democracy rings hollow. Time and time again the DUP have been exposed as being prepared to undermine the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland,

not least in relation to the Good Friday Agreement.

"Across the north the DUP continue to try and disenfranchise the democratic mandate of both nationalists and republicans. Yet they still claim to be democrats.

"This admission of guilt challenges the DUP claim to be the defenders of democracy and exposes their hypocrisy. It is time that we heard from Gregory Campbell about the true nature and extent of this attempt to subvert the democratic process by vote stealing.

"If a member of any other party, particularly Sinn Féin, was being sentenced today for stealing votes then the media would be hounding them." ENDS

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