Republican News · Thursday 03 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Make sure you're registered

Republicans and nationalists need to make sure they are on the electoral register for the next elections, says Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin.

In the next couple of weeks, voter registration forms will be delivered across the North and it is important that people fill them in and return them, He said. ``The driving momentum of the peace process which continues to alter and shape the political landscape has reflected to a large degree the demographic changes which are taking place within our society,'' said McLaughlin. ``The growth in the nationalist and republican vote has placed us on a course of irreversible change which I believe will bring equality, justice and peace on this island.''

He added that ``when the registration forms are delivered people should make sure that those who are eligible to vote are properly registered. This includes people who may be working or studying away from home but who would be entitled to register for a proxy or postal vote''. He assured people that ``the information given for the purposes of registration cannot be used for any other official reason''.

If people have any difficulty in obtaining or completing a registration form they should contact their nearest Sinn Féin constituency office for advice.

McLaughlin also addressed speculation that next year's Six-County local government elections may be postponed.

``There is speculation that under the pretext of local government reform next year's local government elections will be postponed,'' he said. ``Sinn Féin will vehemently oppose such a postponement which - in all likelihood - would only serve the immediate interests of one or two political parties.

``Decisions on whether the democratic rights of the electorate can be interfered with should not be taken lightly and cannot - under any circumstances - be based on what may or may not be beneficial for particular parties''.

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