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People Before Profit Dublin 15 Candidates: Migrant votes matter in the local elections

Memet Uludag

People Before Profit Dublin 15 local election candidates Memet Uludag and Louise Bayliss launched a campaign to raise awareness among migrants on local election voting entitlements and encourage migrants to register and vote. As part of this campaign the candidates have organised a public meeting and information session on 18 March 2014 in St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Blanchardstown.

Speaking about the campaign, Memet Uludag, candidate in Castleknock ward said, “According to a 2012 Social and Economic Profile of Dublin 15 report by Blanchardstown Area Partnership, the percentage of non-Irish nationals in Dublin 15 was over 23%, which is almost twice the national average. This number may have gone slightly down but there is still a very significant percentage of migrants living in Dublin 15. Many of these migrants are at voting age. Unfortunately a lot of migrants don’t vote in the local elections.”

Memet Uludag explained the reasons for the newly launched campaign ‘Migrant? You are entitled to vote in Local Elections’ as, “Many resident migrants are not aware of the fact that they are entitled to vote in local elections, regardless of their nationality. Voting is an important democratic right and every person should have a say in electing local representatives. Decisions and policies of the county councils affect every resident, migrant or not.  Exercising democratic rights is also another important step in the integration of the migrants while enjoying the richness of our multi-lingual, multi-cultural society. It is not just the migrant votes that matter, migrants matter as well.”

Mr. Uludag concluded by saying, “Migrants make a huge contribution to Ireland. Any section of our society with such a high percentage of the population should be encouraged to register and vote. As a candidate, I would rather see migrants voting for another party than not voting at all. As we are getting ready to celebrate the 22 March European Wide UN Day Against Racism in Dublin, what better way than doing our best to raise awareness among the migrant communities in Ireland of their democratic rights and entitlements. We are not running a migrant specific local election campaign and we have been actively involved in various local issues but it is important for migrants to use their vote and to have their say.”

Louise Bayliss, People Before Profit candidate in Mulhuddart ward said, “Our aim is for every disengaged resident or citizen to find their voice. People are free to vote for who they choose and I sincerely hope that every person registers and votes in the forthcoming local elections. For this reason we have been putting up posters in Dublin 15 to remind the migrants about their rights and to invite them to come to our information meeting.”

More information about the campaign can be obtained by contacting Memet Uludag, 087 7919307 or email contact@memetuludag.net.

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