By-election delays - Privilege abused

IT is incredible in a country that purports to be a modern democracy that a member of a political party has to take the Government to court to do something as basic, something as mundane as hold an election.

Yet, more than a year after Fianna Fáil’s Pat “The Cope” Gallagher surrendered his Dáil seat to go to Europe that is the situation. There are two other vacancies in the Dáil and there must be three by-elections in the immediate future if this Government is not to discredit itself even further.

The privilege of setting the dates for these elections has been abused for far too long and the advice offered last week by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Constitution, that these elections should be held within six months of the vacancy arising, should be taken. It would be even better if they were made mandatory within three months.


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