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Is this the left-wing party you've been waiting for?

The Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit are joining forces.

aaa pbp Paul Murphy, Richard Boyd-Barrett and Ruth Coppinger are joining forces. Source: TheJournal.ie

THE ANTI-AUSTERITY ALLIANCE (AAA) and People Before Profit (PBP) have confirmed they are establishing a unified parliamentary group and will run up to 40 candidates in the next general election.

The two left-wing groups are seeking to establish a new political party/grouping in a bid to ensure a socialist voice in the next Dáil, according to statement released this morning.

At present the group comprises of the Anti-Austerity Alliance TDs Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy and Joe Higgins, who is retiring at the next election, as well as People Before Profit deputy Richard Boyd Barrett and around 28 councillors from around the country.

The two groups have notified the registrar of political parties of their wish to formally register ‘Anti Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit’ in order to contest the next election where it expects to field up to 40 candidates.

This registration process, which allows the group to fundraise, is expected to take effect in three weeks after the period of public notification.

More details are expected to emerge then. All four TDs involved are declining media requests for interviews today.

Boyd-Barrett told TheJournal.ie in April that PBP was “actively engaged” in discussions with the AAA: 

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

The group said in its statement that it intends to get enough TDs elected to be an official group or party in the next Dáil.

The AAA and PBP hope to have significantly enhanced speaking time and rights in the next Dail in a formally recognised group. This would give an increased platform for left-wing and socialist positions, an opportunity to bring the real concerns of working class people into the chamber of the Dail and to use it as a platform to mobilise the opposition to austerity.

The new party said it is committed to the abolition of water charges, USC for low and middle earners and “all forms of unjust austerity taxation”.

In its statement the new party said neither AAA or PBP would participate in any government with the establishment parties of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil Labour or “any right-wing parties/independents”.

Instead we are fighting for a genuinely left government that will ensure that the economy and country’s resources are used for people needs not profits.

News of the merger of the two groups first emerged in August when the Anti-Austerity Alliance cancelled its registration as a political party.

Yesterday, the official government gazette Iris Oifigiúil carried a notice from the People Before Profit Alliance of its intention to amend its name, emblem, address, authorised officers and accounting units.

PBP emerged prior to the last general election with Boyd-Barrett elected along with Joan Collins who has since quit the movement. The AAA was founded last year as a response to water charges and is made up primarily of Socialist Party members.

Previous attempts to merge PBP and the Socialist Party, under the United Left Alliance banner, collapsed in 2013 amid infighting over the pace of its progress and a failure to attract ordinary working class people as members.

Read: What is the Socialist alternative to Irish Water and water charges?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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