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Alliance launches legal challenge

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Alliance launches legal challenge to broadcasting allocation for 2008 General Election

The Alliance Party filed proceedings on Friday 13 June in the High Court at Christchurch seeking judicial review of the Electoral Commission's allocation of funding for the broadcast of election advertising in the 2008 General Election.

The Alliance Party has also challenged the Commission's decision not to allocate it a closing address.

The implications of the decision could be wide ranging. If the Alliance Party is successful in its claim for a closing address of whatever length, the time for this would need to come off another party's address. The flow on of any victory to the 10 or so other non- parliamentary parties could lead to a significant reduction of current allocations.

"Democracy is being short-changed," says Alliance Co-leader Andrew McKenzie.

"The current allocation process is terminally stacked against non- parliamentary parties, in that they lack the 'oxygen of publicity' that Parliament provides. Election time is the only time the public have an opportunity to hear new ideas and fresh thinking from outside the status quo parties."

"Is a million dollars each for Labour and National going to really help someone choose more wisely between Helen and John?" says Mr McKenzie.

He expected and would welcome support from other non-parliamentary parties.

An early hearing of the application is anticipated. This may depend on the position taken by other parties in relation to the issues before the Court. The Alliance Party has not ruled out taking the case to the Supreme Court should the necessity arise.

The Alliance Party had 10 MPs elected to Parliament in 1999 and formed part of the 1999 Labour-led Government where it successfully negotiated paid parental leave and the establishment of the Kiwibank.

ENDS

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