[Sinn Fein]

5th September 2002

Ferris describes 5 minutes for No side in Nice debate as an insult

Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris described the allocation of only five minutes speaking time to the No side in today's debate on the Treaty of Nice as absolutely unacceptable and an insult to the electorate. Deputy Ferris made his comments after only one five minute slot of time was given to advance the No side of the campaign in today's four and a half hour debate.

Deputy Ferris said:

``It is absolutely unacceptable and deeply insulting to all the electorate, especially those who rejected the Nice treaty the last time that only five minutes of a four and a half our debate today was give to the No campaign. It is not good enough and is completely anti-democratic. If this debate is to have any legitimacy or meaning at all Standing Orders are going to have to change to facilitate not just the No side of this particular campaign but changed so that the smaller parties and independents can get speaking time as a right in all debates.

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