Election postponement: IRA have to make choice says Ford

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has expressed his disappointment that the Assembly Elections have once again been postponed, and stated that Republicans must take primary responsibility for not clearly making the choice between democracy and violence.

David Ford said:

“The fundamental issue at stake here is whether it is the IRA or democrats who determine what is meant by an end to violence.

“For too long, the IRA has been allowed to determine what they mean by a ceasefire. It is up to the IRA to choose their own language, but people need to have reassurances that there will be an end to all paramilitary activity, including beatings, exiling and street rioting. This is different from saying that they will not do anything inconsistent with their definition of the Agreement.

“While everyone must take some responsibility for this debacle, the primary problem lies in the failure of the Republican movement to make a clear and unambiguous statement renouncing all forms of violence. They have to make the choice between democracy and violence.

“Alliance is very disappointed that the elections have been yet again postponed. Democracy deferred is democracy lost. The people of Northern Ireland have the right to have their say in the process.

“It is vitally important that the Government now moves speedily to fill this vacuum, with a comprehensive, meaningful and inclusive process that addresses the outstanding issues.”

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