Speaking after a two-hour debate at Party Council in Antrim, David Ford stated: “The lack of detail as to precisely what was agreed at St Andrews means we were not in a position to recommend to our delegates that this deal will move us nearer stable and genuine power-sharing, nor to a commitment to all aspects of rule of law from everyone participating in
government. We are quite clear that these are our objectives, the lack of clarity rests within the document and with the parties who did the side deals.
“The feeling among delegates was that increased separation within the institutions will only lead to increased separation within society. We will pledge to act in the interests of securing power-sharing, not power-dividing – the challenge is for the sectarian parties to do
“We have also been clear that there is more to ‘commitment to all aspects of the rule of law from all sides’ than Sinn Fein sitting on boards. We mean a genuine commitment to supporting and improving the police and the legal system as the only legitimate means of justice from all sides, including those Unionists who still find it acceptable to form united
political groupings with paramilitary representatives. We will pledge to act in the interests of securing a real commitment to the rule of law – the challenge is for the sectarian parties to do likewise.
“We are a devolutionist party, but it must be stable and genuine devolution. We will do everything we can to achieve that – the challenge is for the sectarian parties to do likewise. This is their final opportunity.”