Wednesday, May 20, 2009

éirígí Takes Another Step Towards Elections

In a major strategic decision, overwhelmingly approved by its membership at their recent Ard-Fheis, the socialist republican party, éirígí, has adopted a policy paper on elections and elected institutions which confirms the party’s intentions to contest future elections on a tactical basis.

In adopting ‘Elections, Elected Institutions and Ireland’s Revolutionary Struggle’ the party has now effectively declared its intention to contest elections across Ireland where it deems the contesting of those elections will advance éirígí’s revolutionary objectives.

In the event of éirígí candidates winning seats in Leinster House or in local councils on either side of the border the party will participate in those elected institutions on a tactical basis. The Ard-Fheis also confirmed that in the event of éirígí candidates successfully contesting elections to Stormont or Westminster they would not take their seats within those British institutions.

These decisions were reached following lengthy consultation and debate within the party over the past number of months.

The party membership at the Ard-Fheis also approved the establishment of an elections committee to develop a comprehensive éirígí electoral strategy. The exact timing of any éirígí electoral intervention will be decided by the general membership following the adoption of this electoral strategy.

Speaking after the historic decision, newly-elected éirígí Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith said,

“éirígí believes it is possible to move closer to its socialist and republican objectives by tactically contesting elections and tactically participating in specified elected institutions. Such an approach will provide a major additional platform for éirígí to challenge and expose the status quo while simultaneously representing the interests of working people and promoting our vision of a socialist republican alternative.

“Any éirígí engagement in elections will be on the basis of a clear understanding that the existing elected institutions must ultimately fall before a new, genuinely democratic system can emerge. Revolutionary change in Ireland will come from events on the streets and in the workplace and not from any gradual process within the elected institutions of the two states that currently exist in Ireland.

“The primary reason for éirígí tactically participating in elections and elected institutions will be to expose the limits of the current systems, both North and South, and give an effective voice to those whom the current systems are failing. éirígí is not in the business of protecting, defending or reforming those institutions which have continually failed the youngest, oldest, sickest and most disadvantaged sections of our population.

“In moving toward the electoral arena éirígí remains committed to building on its proven track-record as a campaigning organisation. In addition we will continue to work within our communities to develop alternative community-based initiatives, structures and forums to which working people can transfer their allegiance to and away from the existing institutions of the state.

In closing Breandán acknowledged the scale of the task ahead,

“éirígí recognises the immense size of the task ahead of us. We understand that it will take many years of slow and patient work to bring about a new socialist Ireland. Despite the scale of the challenge we have no doubt that it can be achieved. Contrary to the wishes of our opponents éirígí is here for the long haul. In developing its position on elections and elected institutions éirígí has sent a clear and unambiguous signal of its intention to build and develop throughout Ireland and to become a permanent force on the Irish political landscape.”

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