Derry IRSP claim candidate being denied chance to stand in Foyle Assembly election 2022

The Electrical Commission have responded to claims by the IRSP that it was denying the party the chance to stand in the forthcoming Assembly election on May 5.

In a statement issued just weeks after the Irish Republican Socialist Party announced Galliagh community activist Colly McLaughlin would be standing for the party in Foyle, the IRSP in Derry claimed:

“Having forwarded our application in line with the required deadlines in January 2022 and continual attempts to contact the Commission for an update, they didn’t get back to our leadership until March 22 to inform us our application had been rejected due to a problem with our constitution.

“The IRSP within hours of being made aware of this, corrected the oversight and forwarded the required documents with a clear explanation.

Colly McLaughlin has been announced as the IRSP candidate.

“On Friday (March 25) having apparently processed this new information the Electoral Commission informed the party leadership that it would be nearly impossible to process this in time for the IRSP to run in the assembly elections in May as the new documents would require the party to submit an entirely new application, a clear and deliberate manoeuvre to push as past the required deadlines to put forward a party candidate.”

The IRSP said they viewed this as “a clear cut attempt to deny the IRSP access to the democratic process and deny us the availability to pursue our objectives exclusively through peaceful and political means and in turn an attempt to democratically gag any voice that stands up to the establishment”.

A spokesperson added: “We are calling on the Electoral Commission to immediately begin to proactively work with us to resolve this impasse.”

Responding to the statement, a spokesperson for the Electrical Commission said: “Applications to register a political party are subject to a detailed assessment against the criteria set out in law. If an application fails to meet those tests, then we must refuse it.

“The proposed constitution submitted by Irish Republican Socialist Party did not meet the legal requirements so therefore the application had to be refused. The party has now resubmitted its application and provided a new constitution for consideration. We will assess it accordingly and take a decision on all aspects of the party’s application in line with the legal requirements.

“We try to process registration applications as soon as possible after they are received. However, the Commission must carefully assess applications against the criteria set out in the Political Parties, “Elections and Referendums Act 2000. Undertaking this process can take some time in order to ensure the Commission reaches a fair conclusion within the legislative requirements.”

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