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Cabinet approves plan for referendum on Irish citizens abroad voting in presidential elections

The Cabinet has approved a bill to hold a referendum on allowing Irish citizens living abroad to ...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.12 11 Jun 2019


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Cabinet approves plan for refe...

Cabinet approves plan for referendum on Irish citizens abroad voting in presidential elections

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

18.12 11 Jun 2019


Share this article


The Cabinet has approved a bill to hold a referendum on allowing Irish citizens living abroad to vote in presidential elections.

The Government hopes to hold a vote on the issue in October, pending approval from the Oireachtas.

Under the proposed change, everyone with Irish citizenship living abroad could vote for the President.

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It's planned that online registration and postal voting would be used to extend the franchise.

If the proposed referendum passes, the 2025 presidential election would be the first in which Irish people abroad could vote.

The referendum had been due to take place in May, alongside the divorce referendum and the local and European elections.

However, the Cabinet in February opted to delay the presidential vote.

The Taoiseach said the possibility of the vote being contentious and the uncertainty of Brexit were factors in the decision.

Speaking at the time, Leo Varadkar told the Dáil: "It will involve a good deal of planning, it needs a good campaign and we want to win it."

He suggested the later date will allow them to 'prepare the ground and inform people', and ultimately give a better chance of the vote passing.

Mr Varadkar also noted that the next presidential election isn't scheduled until 2025, so there was a "good deal of time" to hold the referendum.

Main image: Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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