Stephen Farry stated: “Tribal pacts, whether by unionists or nationalists, are the opposite of a modern, progressive, issue-based form of politics.
“This unionist pact for Fermanagh and South Tyrone reduces the election there to no more than a sectarian headcount. It eliminates any meaningful debate around local or national issues. It is all about the group identity and that every Protestant should vote for the unionist, with Catholic voting for the nationalist candidates. This is not the type of cross-community politics espoused by Alliance .
“Talk of pacts at this time in our history seem particularly strange, given that the border is not at issue and we have a working devolved Assembly in place.
“For the Conservatives to be a party to this pact undermines any vestiges of credibility to their claim to be representing change and a new type of politics. The talk of new candidates for UCUNF proved hollow, with the Conservatives backing the same old type of UUP candidates. Conservative posters see their candidates wrapping themselves in the union flag. Now the rhetoric of the Conservatives believing in a shared future stands exposed as a fraud.”