Europe

'No NI stations for Irish elections', warn unionists

Tom Elliott Image copyright PA
Image caption Tom Elliot said setting up polling stations in Northern Ireland for a presidential election in the Republic of Ireland would be an imposition

Unionists have warned the Irish Government that no polling stations will be set up in Northern Ireland for future Irish presidential elections.

On Sunday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced plans to allow Irish citizens outside the Republic to vote in future presidential elections.

Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott said: "I don't want polling stations set up here in Northern Ireland.

"That would be imposing on the people of Northern Ireland."

He also said the presidential campaign should not be entitled to any special treatment from mainstream TV channels in Northern Ireland.

"If they need to vote, they need to find another way," he said.

The Irish government is to hold a referendum on whether Irish citizens living outside the country should be able to vote in the country's presidential elections.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny announced plans for the referendum at the weekend

Mr Kenny said it was a "clear recognition of the importance that Ireland attached to her citizens wherever they were".

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting last week.

An options paper will be published later this month outlining arrangements on how to register citizens abroad and how to facilitate voting outside the Republic of Ireland.

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