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MPs' Rights Muzzled By Bill

The Government's changes to electoral legislation to stop 'party hopping' are an anti-democratic breach of free speech, National's Electoral Issues spokesperson Tony Ryall said today.

Associate Justice Minister Margaret Wilson today tabled the Government's Supplementary Order Paper to the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill, 10 months after Parliament started debating the select committee report on the Bill.

"The Government's attempts to muzzle its own Maori caucus and rebel MPs shouldn't be forced on all of Parliament.

"This Bill is nothing more than a stick Miss Clark can use to keep her own troops in line. It is yet another way Miss Clark can force her own opinion on everyone else.

"The stance taken on issues by Electorate MPs is tested every three years by the only people that should count - their electorate.

"It is wrong for Parliament to subvert that process by making an MP more accountable to their party leader than to the people that elected them.

"National is strongly opposed to this legislation," Mr Ryall said.

Ends


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