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Electoral Act, 1992

PART III

Registration of Political Parties

Register of political parties.

25.(1) (a) The person who for the time being holds the office of Clerk of the Dáil shall be the Registrar of Political Parties for the purposes of this section.

(b) If and so long as the office of Clerk of the Dáil is vacant or the holder of that office is unable through illness, absence or other cause to fulfil his duties, the Clerk-Assistant of the Dáil shall act as Registrar of Political Parties for the purposes of this section.

(c) In the subsequent subsections of this section, “the Registrar” means the Registrar of Political Parties for the purposes of this section or the Clerk-Assistant of the Dáil acting as such Registrar (as may be appropriate).

(2) A political party may apply to the Registrar to be registered in the Register of Political Parties as a party—

(a) organised in the State to contest a Dáil election or a European election or a local election, or

(b) organised in a part of the State specified in the application to contest a Dáil election or a European election or a local election.

(3) The Registrar shall prepare and maintain a register (to be known as the Register of Political Parties) in which, subject to the subsequent provisions of this section, he shall register any political party—

(a) which applies to him for registration, and

(b) which is in his opinion—

(i) a genuine political party, and

(ii) organised in the State or a part thereof to contest a Dáil election or a European election or a local election.

(4) The following particulars shall be entered in the Register of Political Parties in respect of a political party registered therein—

(a) the name of the party,

(b) the address of the party's headquarters,

(c) the name or names of the officer or officers of the party authorised to sign certificates authenticating the candidature of candidates of the party at elections,

(d) the type or types of election for which the party is registered as being organised to contest,

(e) where a party is registered as organised to contest an election in a particular part of the State, a reference to that fact.

(5) Where a party which is registered in the Register of Political Parties as a party organised to contest a European election satisfies the Registrar that a member of the party who is a representative in the European Parliament is a member of a political group formed in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Parliament, the Registrar shall note on the Register, in relation to the party, the name of the group.

(6) A political party shall not be registered in the Register of Political Parties if its name—

(a) is identical with the name of any party already registered in the Register of Political Parties or, in the opinion of the Registrar, so nearly resembles such name as to be calculated to mislead, confuse or deceive,

(b) is, in the opinion of the Registrar, unduly long, or

(c) in the case of a party operating in relation to a particular part only of the State, does not include such reference to that part as, in the opinion of the Registrar, distinguishes the party as so operating.

(7) A political party registered in the Register of Political Parties shall from time to time keep the Registrar informed as to the name or names of the officer or officers referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (4).

(8) The Registrar shall, with respect to each party registered in the Register of Political Parties, inquire in writing at least once in each year from an officer of the party referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (4), whether the party desires to remain registered and, unless he receives an affirmative reply to such an inquiry within twenty-one days from the date of the making of such inquiry, he shall cancel the registration of the party concerned.

(9) (a) As soon as he has considered an application for registration under this section the Registrar shall notify the applicant of his proposed ruling on the application (stating reasons in the case of refusal) and shall cause notice thereof to be published in the Iris Oifigiúil and any person aggrieved by the proposed ruling of the Registrar may appeal to an appeal board under this section within the five days next following the date of publication of the said notice in the Iris Oifigiúil.

(b) Where no appeal is made under this subsection within the period specified in paragraph (a) the proposed ruling shall thereupon become final and the Registrar shall notify the applicant accordingly.

(c) The appeal board shall consist of a Judge of the High Court (to be nominated by the President of the High Court),who shall be chairman, the Chairman of the Dáil (or where he is unable, through illness, absence or other cause to fulfil his duties or the office of Chairman is vacant, the Deputy Chairman of the Dáil) and the Chairman of the Seanad (or where he is unable, through illness, absence or other cause to fulfil his duties or the office of Chairman is vacant, the Deputy Chairman of the Seanad).

(d) An appeal under this section shall not be considered by the appeal board unless at the time the appeal is made a deposit of £500 is lodged with the appeal board by, or on behalf of, the appellant, which sum shall on the determination of the appeal be returned to the person by whom it was made unless the appeal board considers the appeal to be frivolous or vexatious and directs that the deposit be forfeited.

(e) A deposit forfeited under this section shall be disposed of in such manner as may be directed by the Minister for Finance.

(f) The decision of the appeal board shall be final and shall be complied with by the Registrar.

(g) An appeal under this section shall be in writing setting out the grounds thereof and shall be made by being lodged together with the deposit referred to in paragraph (d) at the office of the Registrar.

(10) (a) Where it appears to the Registrar that a political party registered in the Register of Political Parties is not entitled to be so registered he shall, following such inquiry as he thinks fit, publish in the Iris Oifigiúil notice of his intention to cancel the registration of the party.

(b) Subsection (9) shall apply to an intention under this subsection in the same way as it applies to a ruling under the said subsection (9).

(c) Where a party is registered in the Register of Political Parties, the registration of the party shall not be affected by any appeal pending under this subsection.

(11) The Registrar shall maintain a copy of the Register of Political Parties at his office and shall permit any person to inspect such copy and to take a copy thereof on payment of a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of copying at such times and subject to such conditions as the Registrar considers appropriate.

(12) The Registrar may require any person to give any information in his possession which the Registrar may require for the purpose of his duties under this section.

(13) The following provisions shall apply in relation to a party registered in the Register of Political Parties—

(a) where the party is registered as organised to contest a particular type or types of election, the registration shall have effect only in relation to elections of the type or types concerned;

(b) where the name of the party includes a reference which distinguishes the party as operating is a particular partonly of the State, the registration shall have effect only in relation to that part of the State.

(14) On the third day (disregarding any excluded day) after the day of the issuing under section 39 of a writ or writs, the Registrar shall send to the returning officer or each returning officer a copy of the Register of Political Parties then in force.

(15) The Minister for Finance shall, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, pay to the Registrar the amount of his reasonable charges, not exceeding such amount as may be sanctioned by that Minister, in respect of the performance by the Registrar of his duties under this section.

(16) The Register of Political Parties in force at the commencement of this section shall be deemed to be the Register of Political Parties prepared and maintained under this section.