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Ireland votes in referendum to scrap the Senate

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Ireland votes in referendum to scrap the Senate


Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand all did it. Today, Ireland decides whether to abolish the Irish upper chamber, known as the Seanad, or Senate.

The Irish national parliament, known as the Oireachtas, consists of the President and an upper and a lower house.

Most major Irish political parties favour abolishing the Senate. Opposition party Fianna Fáil does not. It argues that the government of Prime Minister Enda Kenny wants to centralise its power.

Kenny’s government says that eliminating the Senate would save €20 million a year, which, in this time of crisis, is a necessity.

Recent opinion polls suggest over 60 percent of Irish people support scrapping the Senate.

Results of the referendum are expected on Saturday.

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