Decision not to have election for First and Deputy First Minister on 24 November is disgraceful

Alliance Party MLA Kieran McCarthy has slammed the decision of the Assembly Business Committee not to back his motion to place the election of a First and Deputy First Minister at the top of the agenda for the Assembly sitting on 24th November. He proposed the motion at the final meeting of the Hain Assembly Business Committee, which took place yesterday. The only party which indicated any support for the motion was Sinn Fein, and they only did so after the meeting.

Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “It is disgraceful that the Business Committee did not back a motion to elect a First and Deputy First Minister at the Assembly sitting on 24 November. This should be the first item on the agenda on deadline day. It is appalling that there was not unanimous support for this measure.

“The process of selecting the First and Deputy First Minister must be open and transparent.

“Bizarrely, the Chair of the Business Committee could not give any indication of what is going to happen in the Assembly on 24th November, because Peter Hain had not stated what is to take place.

“The lack of agreement on this matter shows the wide chasm which exists between the DUP and Sinn Fein. For genuine and effective power sharing, they must work together.

“If the devolution timetables are met, we face ‘government by memo’, with the DUP only communicating with Sinn Fein through notes carried by civil servants, because they won’t talk to them. This is a recipe for disaster for the people of Northern Ireland.”

Kieran McCarthy concluded: “We need an inclusive process where power is shared, not divided.”


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