Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Department of An Taoiseach
135. To ask the Taoiseach the reason he is not including any politicians in the Citizens Assembly; the process for selection of the chair, executive and members of this assembly; and the timelines for same. [21371/16]
Membership of the Citizens' Assembly will consist of 100 persons: 99 citizens entitled to vote at a referendum, randomly selected so as to be broadly representative of Irish society by a polling company commissioned for that purpose, plus a Chairperson. A Resolution approving the calling of the Assembly is scheduled to be debated in both Houses of the Oireachtas this week, as will the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2016, the purpose of which is to permit use of the electoral register in the selection of the citizen members. Politicians are not being included as members of the Assembly so as to allow for as broad a representation as possible from the general public; however, Assembly Reports will of course be debated in the Oireachtas.
The secretariat for the Assembly will be drawn from the civil service. As regards the Chairperson, I will be consulting with the Government and Opposition Leaders.
It is intended that the first meeting of the Assembly will take place in October.