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No by-election if party hopping law repealed

No by-election needed if party hopping law repealed

The Green Party is calling on the Labour Government to repeal the Electoral Integrity Act and is offering its nine votes to do it under urgency before May 17th, thereby saving the country the cost of an expensive and unnecessary by-election.

"The Prime Minister has described the impending by-election in Te Tai Hauauru as a 'political stunt and a sideshow'," Green Co-leader, Rod Donald said today. "Given that Tariana Turia is assured of winning the seat because all parliamentary parties are unlikely to stand candidates, it will certainly be a waste of the more than $350,000 the Chief Electoral Office estimates a by-election there will cost."

Mr Donald pointed out that under the draconian Electoral Integrity Act - which was steam-rolled into law by Labour in the face of widespread opposition - a by-election is mandatory because Mrs Turia is forced to leave Parliament the moment she leaves the Labour Party. "The sensible cause of action would be for the Government repeal the Act so that Mrs Turia could become an independent MP without having to put the country to the unnecessary trouble and expense of a by-election," said Mr Donald.

"The Electoral Integrity Act is due to expire at the next election anyway and given strong opposition to the original bill from the Greens, National and Act, the repeal of this fundamentally flawed legislation would have wide support."

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