Sinn Féin calls on government to address presidential voting rights for Irish citizens in the north
Speaking following the Dáil vote on the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (The President) Bill 2011, Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien criticised the Government for voting against the Bill and failing to allow it to proceed to committee stage so that it may be amended and passed in order to extend voting rights in Presidential elections to Irish citizens in the north.
The Cork-North Central TD said;
“Sinn Féin supported this Bill brought forward by the Technical Group as it is abundantly clear that there must be reform with regard to how we elect the President. This Government has consistently said that it is going to implement reforms of the political system, and they missed an important opportunity by voting against this bill today.
“Had they allowed this bill to proceed to committee stage, it would have created an opportunity to address an omission within the bill, which is the right of Irish citizens in the Six Counties to vote in presidential elections.
“Extending such rights would represent a natural outworking of the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and is something which should happen in due course. Since the establishment of the Office of President, Irish citizens have been denied the right to vote in presidential elections. Successive administrations have failed to address this matter and nothing has changed. Sinn Féin is now calling on the government to ensure that this issue is addressed by the forthcoming Constitutional Convention.”