Dear Sir,

WITH reference to the Calvia foreign vote blocking claims, I must say, I am becoming a bit confused on who is eligible to vote, with the various reports I have heard/read. I always understood someone had to be a property registered resident, ie someone with residencia. That now it is being said that anyone who can produce a six-month rental contract could be placed on the electoral list, I think is not only open to fraudulent votes, but is not just, to explain:

1. Many people (especially in the off season, but other times in the year as well) rent a holiday home for six months -- these can hardly be considered “resident” in the election voting sense of the word. They are not even paying local rates (contribuciones) as the landlord does this.

2. What type of rental contract is produced? Many people write up “something” themselves, between landlord and tenant, ie not registering it, and thus avoid paying taxes due. If such a contract were accepted for voting rights, it could lead to fraudulently made contracts, whereby anyone with a scrap of paper referring to a rental, together with their passport, could register to vote.

3. What of the large temporary work force that visits/stays on the island for their summer jobs? They may well have a six-month rental contract, but can we seriously accept that they have voting rights? They may not even be here next year, yet would be allowed to vote on such an important issue? It would only cheapen/diminish the value of this election for the really seriously interested residents here.

NB A word of caution to landlords and tenants alike. Take pause before rushing to a town hall to show off a rental contract that has not been properly registered with the authorities, various taxes paid, etc. It could mean hefty fines and the tenant will certainly have difficulties to be placed on the electoral roll.

4. Fraudulent votes must be avoided at all costs. It is still fresh in the minds of many, the whole controversy following the last election, when ousted president Jaume Matas of the Partido Popular was accused of using votes of even persons deceased but still on an electoral roll.

Hopefully a clear and correct answer can be obtained on this important subject from the relevant authority on voting rights, together with an official response from the town hall of Calvia on the accusation of vote blocking, ie if there is any truth in it and if so, what are the reasons people are being declared ineligible to vote. We expect slandering, dirty tricks and innuendo during elections anywhere in the world, we should try to minimise them here. This is an important subject to clarify once and for all. Finally, as in an earlier letter on voting/elections, I would repeat that a vote is valuable and should be given with care. Just because one voted one way or another for political parties in one's home country has no bearing on municipal elections here. It is the quality and experience of the candidate that counts and the least deciding factor should be to vote for someone just because they are of the same nationality. That is the last qualification in the world that should count for anything.

Sincerely,

Graham Phillips
Palma

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