Leading article

Neutrality needed at polling stations

It is essential that polling stations, regardless of the wider political leanings of any area, should be in a setting which is as neutral as possible.

As a number of voters plainly felt uncomfortable with the number of loyalist emblems which were on unauthorised display in the grounds of Newbuildings community centre, outside Derry city, during last year's UK general election, the authorities were fully entitled to find an alternative venue for next month's Assembly contest.

Yesterday's confirmation of a relocation to a nearby primary school should not inconvenience any section of the community on May 5.

There will always be sensitivities to be taken into consideration but the priority must be to maintain an appropriate environment during all stages of the electoral process.

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Leading article