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McDonald calls for Saturday election to accommodate students and young people

22 March, 2007

Reacting to news today that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's preferred day for the general election is a Thursday, Sinn Féin MEP, and candidate for the Taoiseach's constituency of Dublin Central, Mary Lou McDonald called for the election to be held on a Saturday to accommodate students, young people and those who work away from home.

Ms. McDonald said, "Any arguments used against holding weekend elections in the past are now completely redundant considering the second referendum on the Treaty of Nice was held on a Saturday.

"Sinn Féin would be happy to see a late May election date to avoid another clash with the leaving cert as was the case in the 2004 Local and European elections. This would also ensure that there is no clash with college exams in early to mid May. However, the least that we should expect would be that young voters and those working away from home would be accommodated by a Saturday election.

"I am asking Taoiseach to take this into account when making his decision and I am proposing that a Saturday election be called with polling stations remaining open till 10pm to ensure the maximum turnout possible." ENDS

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