Libertas misses deadline to register German candidates

 

LIBERTAS HAS missed the deadline for registering candidates to stand in the European elections in Germany in a major blow to the organisation’s pan-European ambitions. It is also encountering significant problems in meeting the stringent registration requirements laid out in electoral laws in such countries as Romania and Italy.

“We’ve run up against some bureaucracy in Germany where we are still gathering the 4,000 signatures and other information required by the electoral commission. But we do still intend to register and compete in the European elections in that country. We will talk to the bureaucracy and see how we can work with them,” said a Libertas spokeswoman.

But a spokeswoman for the federal office of elections in Germany told The Irish Times last night the deadline passed at 6pm on March 31st and any party that had not registered its information by that time was not eligible to take part in the June elections.

“Every party that has filed an application by the deadline is on the list of 38 parties in our press release. It is not possible to file a late application,” said a German election official.

Libertas Partei Deutschland was launched in Berlin last month by Libertas founder Declan Ganley, who has targeted Germany as a key battleground for his organisation. “Germany is perhaps the most important keystone of European democracy . . . It is here in the end what will decide whether or not we enter into a post-democratic Europe,” he told journalists at the Berlin launch, where he pledged to field candidates in the elections.

Libertas had hoped to launch candidates in all 27 EU states but is encountering problems in complying with the plethora of different registration requirements .

“There are rules in many states designed to protect incumbents and not allow new parties to emerge,” said a Libertas spokesman. He noted in Romania a party needs 200,000 signatures to register. In Italy 6,000 are needed in each constituency.

Libertas is also being targeted by rival parties, for example in Britain a friend of UKIP leader Nigel Farage registered the name Libertas International with the British electoral commission. This has forced Mr Ganley’s Libertas to register to compete in the European elections in June in Britain under the name New Dawn for Europe: Libertas.eu.

Libertas is proving more successful in fielding candidates in the Czech Republic, where it is expected to announce today it is fielding 25 candidates in the elections. The party list will be headed by two Czech MPs, who last week defected from the Civic Democrats and supported a no-confidence vote that toppled the government.