Ireland’s Socialist Republican Party accuses electoral chiefs of preventing him from standing in the Assembly ballot
The Irish Republican Socialist Party accuses the Electoral Commission of trying to prevent it from running in the May parliamentary elections.
He hopes to field two candidates – Dan Murphy in West Belfast and Colly McLaughlin in Foyle – and has already put up posters.
However, the IRSP’s first attempt to register as a political party was refused.
The Electoral Commission said it did not meet the legal requirements, but is now considering a new candidacy.
An IRSP spokesman said the party had submitted its candidacy before the January 21 deadline.
He said that despite ‘continuous attempts’ to contact the commission for an update, it only responded last Tuesday when it rejected the request on the grounds that the party’s constitution did not meet the required standards. .
The spokesperson said the IRSP immediately “corrected the oversight and forwarded the required documents with a clear explanation.”
“On Friday – after apparently processing this new information – the Electoral Commission advised the party leadership that it would be next to impossible to process this in time for the IRSP to stand in the Assembly elections in May, as the new documents would require the party to submit an entirely new application,” he said.
He said it was “a clear and deliberate maneuver to push us beyond the required timeframe”.
The spokesman said it was an attempt to “deny the IRSP access to the democratic process” and to “gag any voices that oppose the establishment”.
“We call on the Electoral Commission to immediately start working proactively with us to resolve this impasse,” he added.
A spokesperson for the commission said: “Applications for political party registration are subject to detailed assessment against criteria defined by law. If a request does not meet these criteria, we must refuse it.
“The draft constitution submitted by the Irish Socialist Republican Party did not meet the legal requirements, so the application had to be refused.
“The party has now resubmitted its candidacy and provided a new constitution for consideration.
“We will assess it accordingly and make a decision on all aspects of the party’s request in accordance with legal requirements.”
He added, “We try to process registration requests as soon as possible after they are received.
“However, the commission must carefully assess nominations against the criteria set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
“Undertaking this process may take some time to ensure that the commission reaches a fair conclusion within the legislative requirements.”