Citizen’s Assembly votes in favour to restrict ability of Taoiseach to call election

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The Citizens Assembly voted in favour of having a fixed term parliament with the flexibility to call an election under certain conditions.

Members of the Citizen’s Assembly have voted narrowly in favour of recommending changing the Constitution to restrict the ability of the Taoiseach to call an election.

51% of the 71 voters opted to recommend changing the current system, with 49% choosing no change.

The majority of members opted to recommend a parliament which would be four years in duration.

The current maximum term of the Government is just over five years.

A constitutional referendum would be required to change the current system, where the decision to call an election rests with the Taoiseach.

Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of having a fixed term parliament with the flexibility to call an election under certain conditions.

A similar system operates in Britain, where general elections are held every five years, but can happen earlier if two thirds of Parliament vote in favour.

The members also considered whose approval should be required to dissolve the Dáil where an early election could be called.

It was the final sitting of the Citizen’s Assembly which was chaired by Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. 

She thanked all of those who contributed to the process.

She also paid tribute to the members for their “unparalleled commitment”.

Ms Justice Laffoy said they could take “great pride” in their input to the various topics.

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