[Sinn Fein]

9th February 2003

Adams to meet Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP is to meet Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley, tomorrow (Monday 10th February 2003) at 11am in the Electoral Office HQ on Church Street, Belfast.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Mr Adams said:

"The legislation on voter registration has wiped tens of thousands of people off the register. This affects every political party, but the areas and people most affected are those where Sinn Fein is strongest. Nationalist, working class and particularly young voters are being disenfranchised.

"This is an issue of democratic rights. Every political party should be concerned about the fact that people are being disenfranchised. It is my very firm view that the motivation behind this legislation is designed to limit Sinn Fein's growth as a political party.

"The underlying problems in the process and the current crisis are about resistance to change and the role of Sinn Fein as an engine for that change. It is about the growth of republicanism across this island. That is why we have the British securocrats making strenuous efforts to wreck the situation through leaking spurious stories to the media. That is why this electoral legislation was brought in here.

"The onus is firmly with the Electoral Office to fulfil its legal and moral duty to ensure that everyone who is entitled to vote is registered. The Electoral Office is duty bound to ensure that people can exercise their democratic right." ENDS

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