Ford Kills Speculation on Alliance Redesignation

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has reaffirmed the party’s total opposition to the Assembly voting system based on the designation of MLAs.

David Ford stated:

“Some commentators and politicians seem intent on continuing to speculate that Alliance will redesignate in return for some ‘goodies’ like access to ministerial office.

“I have repeatedly made clear that there are no circumstances whatsoever in which Alliance will redesignate. The Two Governments are very well aware of our views on the matter: at least they seem to know better than to raise the issue.

“After Alliance MLAs redesignated in November 2001, we made it crystal clear we had done so once – and only once – to save the Agreement. The onus was then on the Governments and all of the parties to change what we had exposed as a bankrupt, sectarian system.

“It was hard enough to form and sustain an Executive under sectarian designations in the last Assembly, let alone the current makeup.

“In our Assembly Manifesto, we repeated our commitment to change. The Alliance MLAs have a clear mandate to use their votes to effect change within the forthcoming Review of the Agreement.

“There is a growing body of opinion that now recognises the problems that the designation system causes: entrenching divisions and making some votes more equal than others.

“Commentators should not waste their energy on speculating whether or not Alliance will redesignate. Instead they should look at what positive changes to the operation of the institutions can be made so that we can re-establish a workable government in Northern Ireland as quickly as possible.”

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