Alliance Party Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy has said the people of Northern Ireland now face a clear choice – between democracy and paramilitarism.
The Strangford MLA stated: “Never have the lines between parties prepared to countenance paramilitarism and those opposed to it been clearer. The Ulster Unionist merger with the PUP amounts to an acceptance of Loyalist gangsterism.
“Given a choice between the fire and the fire brigade the choice is clear – likewise the choice between democrat and paramilitary, and between victim and terrorist.
“The Alliance Party stands steadfast in its opposition to paramilitarism and terrorism in all its forms and regardless of its origins. We will do what we can to encourage people along the right road, but we do not invite people into the heart of our Government until they have chosen the right road and are moving along it.
“Giving people a fair chance is one thing. Choosing the terrorist over the victim and the paramilitary over the democrat is quite another.
“The Ulster Unionist leadership has insulted victims and democrats, and I have little doubt decent people will be withholding their support from a party unable to tell basic right from basic wrong.”