26 May 2005 Edition

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French say no re-run on EU Constitution

French say no re-run on EU Constitution

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has challenged the Dublin Government to publicly commit itself to ruling out a re-run of the EU Constitution referendum if it is defeated by people in the 26 Counties.

McDonald made her comments after the French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, said that a re-run of the EU Constitution referendum was "not a perspective that France could accept". Raffarin made his comments on television on Tuesday before the French people vote on the EU Constitution this coming Sunday, 29 May.

Speaking from Brussels, McDonald pointed out that in contrast to the French prime minister's position, the Irish Government has not ruled out a re-run. In fact, when questioned on 12 April in the Dail, the Taoiseach refused to rule out a second referendum.

"When the Irish Government re-ran the NICE referendum, it was clear that they were more interested in pandering to the elites in Europe than to the will of the people in this state," said McDonald. "This Constitution will have far reaching ramifications for all of Ireland; the people must be sovereign, and not sacrificed for political expediency by this government.

"Sinn Féin will be campaigning for a No vote on the EU Constitution but if the people vote for the Constitution, then we will respect their will. Unfortunately, the Irish Government is unwilling to make such a commitment."

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