Organisation says it was not informed of deadline


LIBERTAS SAID it would not have been subject to such scrutiny by the Standards in Public Office Commission if it had campaigned for a Yes vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

The organisation, founded by Declan Ganley, said it had not been informed of a deadline for the publication of the commission’s report.

The report said Libertas had failed to provide required information.

However, Libertas said in a statement it had an ongoing dialogue with the commission and remained willing to provide the information required by March 31st. Libertas said the report did not change “certain fundamental truths” about the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

“We note that the Liberal Group in the European Parliament has said it will provide whatever resources necessary in support of a Yes vote at a future referendum. One can only hope that the appropriate scrutiny will be given to this side of the campaign too.”

Commenting on Mr Ganley’s expected decision to declare himself a candidate in the European Parliament elections, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said yesterday it was Mr Ganley’s democratic right to run in elections but said the Standards in Public Office Commission expects everyone to “live by the same rules”.

Speaking during a visit to Limerick, Mr Cowen said: “We live in a democracy but I note from the Standards in Public Office Commission today that it expects everyone to live by the same rules as everyone else and I hope that whatever incomplete information he [Ganley] was able to give so far will be given.”

Minister of State for European Affairs Dick Roche said the commission report demonstrated the need for an immediate strengthening of electoral law.

Labour and Fine Gael also criticised Libertas in light of the report.