Citizens' Assembly backs proposal for permanent Electoral Commission  

The gathering heard from a number of experts across the weekend

Citizens' Assembly backs proposal for permanent Electoral Commission   

Image via @CitizAssembly on Twitter

The Citizens' Assembly has backed calls for a permanent Electoral Commission to oversee how referendums are run here.

The group has heard from a number of experts on the issue across the weekend.

The results of ballots on several issues have been unveiled.

Delegates were also asked if they supported the current position - where the Government cannot spend public money to advocate only on one side in a campaign.

This was 72 votes in favour and 11 votes against.

The assembly also voted for a propsal which said that the Government should provide money to both sides equally in referndum campaigns - by 57 votes to 27.

Among other issues passed were suggestions that anonymous donations to registered political parties and campaign groups be prohibited, and that no more than two referendums should be held at the same time.

Delegates also voted in favour of a proposal which says that the Government should give effect to the outcome of a referendum within five years.

It also voted in favour of a number of options to try to increase voter turnout - including weekend voting, greater provision of voter education and lowering the voting age to 16.

These conclusions will now form the basis of a report to be sent forward to the Oireachtas for debate.

The next meeting of the Citizens' Assembly will be on March 3rd and 4th, looking at Fixed Term Parliaments.

Submissions on this topic can be made online.