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Green Councillors in Revolt Over FF Votes

category national | politics / elections | news report author Sunday July 08, 2007 15:48author by Maurice Ross Report this post to the editors

Seanad Election Sparks Division in Greens

The Green Party leadership have requested all their Councillors and TDs to vote with an inspector present to make sure they vote for Fianna Fail candidates.

With the Government majority in the Seanad in jeopardy Fianna Fáil have successfully put pressure on the Greens to vote for Fianna Fáil Seanad candidates. The only mention of the upper House in the deal with FF was that the Greens would get 2 Seanad seats. There was no mention of a voting pact between Greens and Fianna Fáil for the 43 panel seats. Nonetheless the Green Party HQ has issued an instruction to Green Councillors and TDs to vote for certain FF candidates.

The Green Party have 25 of the 1096 voters in the election for 43 seats on the vocational panels. This 25 consists of 6 TDs and 18 Councillors. Due to the record low vote that Fianna Fáil received in the 2004 elections there is extra pressure on a voting pact. This is seen by many Greens as another accommodation with FF and PDs in return for very little.

A number of Green Councillors have objected to this voting pact as it was never a part of a deal with the Fianna Fáil party and it goes agains the previous grassroots approach of the Party. There is also a legal row brewing. Legally the ballots must be held in secret however common practice over the years has seen councillors mark their ballots in the presence of their fellow party members. A number of Green Councillors are threatening to exercise their right to a secret ballot in this election.

While the ballot is meant to be secret any Green spoilt votes or voting for opposition candidates will be likely to be known due to the electorate consisting of only elected representatives and the unusually tight government numbers. Ballots are due to be returned by 23 July 2007. Counting begins afterwards. But even after the counting the distrust within the Greens and between the Greens and Fianna Fáil may continue.

author by paul o toolepublication date Sun Jul 08, 2007 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Greens have reneaged on every promise they were voted in on. Shannon, Tara and the M3, Incinerators, Privatisation of hospitals on public property....
The PD's policies which the Greens opposed are now going through on green power. Corporate cock must taste good...You couldent write this stuff in a piece of fiction because it wouldent sell, it could not be believed.
This hopefully is the end of their mandate even though I gave them second pref.

author by Maurice Rosspublication date Mon Jul 09, 2007 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The outgoing Leader of the Green Party Trevor Sargent has backtracked on the inspection of Seanad ballot papers. However Sargent is sticking by Fianna Fáil candidates. Today he stated that Green Councillors and TDs will have an individual choice about how they give preferences to the Fianna Fáil candidates.

He made these remarks when the legal situation was made clear following a revolt by some Green Councillors. The question about the voting pact being part of the deal with Fianna Fáil is still unresolved. The deal accepted by the Green members did not include a voting pact on the vocational panel seats, nonetheless this is what the Green Party leadership are demanding.

With no inspection of their ballot papers it remains unclear if anti-deal Councillors will vote for Fianna Fáil candidates.

 
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