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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

British Government To Change Election Rules

Imagine being able to sit in two different legislators at the same time. The ability to be a State and a Congressional Representative. To be in two places at the same time!!!

It was legal in the North of Ireland until 2016. It was possible to be an MLA in Stormont and at the same time an MP in Westminister. It was the favored option of many unionists. The practice, known as “Double Jobbing” was banned in 2016. Faced with having to make the choice, many of the leaders in the DUP choose to give up leading roles and ministerial positions in Belfast for a life on the backbenches of Westminister.

The DUP now faces an election challenge as voters go to the ballot box at the beginning of May in Stormont elections.

The response by the British Government, make “Double Jobbing” legal again. All the parties, except the DUP, have opposed this move.

It will allow the DUP to stand MP’s in Assembly elections without having to give up their seats in Westminister. This will ensure that candidates such as the DUP leader, Jeffery Donaldson, would hold on to his Westminister seat if he fails to get elected to the local Assembly. It also means that he will avoid a byelection to defend his Westminister seat.

It seems that the British Government is planning to change the election rules to the advantage of one party in the face of the opposition to all the other parties.

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