[Sinn Fein]

6 July 2000/P>

Dublin candidate backs proposal for directly-elected mayors

``We need to lift local democracy in the eyes of the people''

Sinn Fein's unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of Dublin today backed a Government proposal to have mayors directly elected by the public.

Dublin City Councillor Nicky Kehoe said the move should help stimulate more public interest into what is being done in local government and the job of mayor.

``We need to lift local democracy in the eyes of the people.

``Direct elections would also mean the end of the sort of carve-up we saw on Dublin City Council this week where Labour handed the job to a Fianna Fáil nominee on no more principle than `Buggin's Turn' as part of a five-year pact.

`That wasn't an exercise in democracy - it was an exercise in political expediency.''

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