Speaking after his selection, Dr Farry stated: “I am honoured to have been selected to represent Alliance in next year’s election. Alliance has a long and proud record of serving the people of North Down. I hope to be able to follow in the footsteps of great public servants such as Eileen Bell. In North Down, Alliance remains the only viable and credible alternative to the unionist parties.
“This is great uncertainty about what this election is actually about. With neither the DUP giving a clear commitment to power-sharing, nor Sinn Fein indicating their support for policing and the rule of law, a question mark remains over the much needed restoration of devolution.
“If the institutions are eventually restored, government dominated by the DUP and Sinn Fein will be a completely new experience for Northern Ireland. There are quite legitimate fears that they may be only able to co-exist in government through a power carve-up rather than genuine power-sharing. Of all the parties, Alliance offers the clearest commitment to building a shared future. The economic, financial and social costs of a divided society are huge.
“A strong Alliance presence in the Assembly will provide an effective challenge to the continued divisions in our society, and a powerful advocate for partnership and a united community.”