Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has expressed his disappointment that the Chief Electoral Officer has decided to open only 3 recall petition centres across North Antrim. He has also criticised the restricted opening times of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, with only two evening sessions.
Robin Swann has also confirmed that as a North Antrim constituent he will be signing the recall petition.
Robin Swann said:
“Not only are three petition centres totally inadequate for a constituency the size of North Antrim, by restricting the opening hours to mainly 9am-5pm from Monday-Friday the Electoral Office have shown little regard to people in daytime employment.
“I suspect that this very limited provision, both in terms of locations and timings, will lead to a larger than usual request for postal votes, and whether rightly or wrongly, this may well lead to accusations of voter identity abuse.
“The Ulster Unionist Party will not register as a campaigner during the recall petition, but we would encourage any North Antrim electors who think what Ian Paisley did was wrong to sign the petition and allow the entire North Antrim electorate to have their say.
“As a North Antrim constituent I will be signing the petition as I believe the findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards are so serious and go to such an extent that the only option is for a by-election to be called.”