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New Boundary Commissioner must guard against attempts at Gerrymandering

6 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Director of Elections, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that Sinn Féin will work closely with the newly appointed Boundary Commissioner, who is working on the council Ward boundaries as the reorganisation of local government under the Review of Public Administration continues.

The announcement is expected on Tuesday, November 7th 2006.

Mr Doherty said:

"The Review of Public Administration represents the biggest shake up of local government for a generation. It presents many opportunities and many challenges.

"Sinn Féin have been on record demanding that the legal framework of checks and balances ensuring some of the abuses of power that continue to this day on unionist dominated councils are outlawed.

"The appointment of a boundary commissioner to look at the configuration of wards within the new councils has an important role in ensuring that any redrawn boundaries do not create inequalities. They must guard against any attempt at gerrymandering.

"No one should forget that the reason local government was stripped of much of its power was because of serious abuse of power by unionist politicians, a practice that continues today in many unionist dominated councils and that the problem of unionist gerrymandering was widespread. Sinn Féin will be working closely with the new commissioner to ensure that any attempt at gerrymandering is resisted." ENDS

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