Ireland: Lisbon Treaty Second Referendum Date Set

08/08/2009 05:12 am 05:12:02 | Updated May 25, 2011

The Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has set October 2 as the date for the country's second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, reports RTE.

Irish voters rejected the Treaty in the first referendum last June, 53.4% to 46.6%.

RTE reports that the first election was marked by debates over issues which were not included in the Treaty text.

The Irish Independent reports that Mr Cowen said that legal guarantees had been given for Ireland on issues which concerned voters ahead of the first referendum, such as abortion, military neutrality, taxation, and the retention of a European Commissioner per EU member.

According to the Irish Times, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs today published a guide to the treaty and said it was in the interests of both Ireland and Europe to vote 'yes'.

Critics of the government's decision to hold a second referendum on the Treaty have questioned the legality of the move.

Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance told the Irish Times, "it must be open to question the constitutionality of forcing the people to vote again on exactly the same treaty since they have already given their final decision."

AP writes that a second refusal by the Irish electorate could doom the Lisbon Treaty, as it requires unanimous ratification by all 27 EU member states.

All of the other 26 EU countries have approved ratification of the treaty.

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