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Court teaches ACT a lesson in democracy

16 July, 2004

Court teaches ACT a lesson in democracy

Green Party Co-leader, Rod Donald says he is delighted that the Court of Appeal has blocked the ACT Party's attempt to evict Donna Awatere Huata from Parliament.

The Court of Appeal ruled today that Mrs Awatere Huata's actions had not amounted to defection, and that ACT could not therefore invoke legislation to have her thrown out of Parliament.

"Whatever you think of Mrs Awatere Huata's behaviour it should be fundamental to our democracy that unless an MP has been convicted of a significant offence, only the voters have the power to elect and un-elect them," said Mr Donald.

"The Green Party has strenuously opposed the Labour-Alliance party-hopping legislation because it gave too much power to party leaders.

"The Court of Appeal decision vindicates our concern. If Donna Awatere Huata hadn't taken her case to the court she would have been kicked out of parliament.

"ACT should be ashamed of its bullying tactics, especially when it originally opposed the legislation just as strenuously and for the same reasons as the Greens. We look forward to this sorry saga coming to an end when the so-called Electoral Integrity Act is repealed at the next election."

ENDS


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