ALLIANCE Leader David Ford has criticised the call from David Trimble for Ulster Unionist voters to continue to support ‘pro-Union candidates’ with their later preferences. David Ford said that instead of engaging in tribal voting, voters should show support to all those who were prepared to compromise for the good of the whole community.
Mr Ford stated: “Apart from the fact that very few of us believe that David Trimble will use his own vote to support Jeffrey Donaldson in Lagan Valley, his advice is just plain wrong.
“This election is not about yet another referendum on the border. It is, in fact, about electing an Assembly that will work together, in the spirit of the Agreement, for the good of the entire community.
“I have had many disagreements with both the UUP and SDLP. I believe their efforts so far have been half-hearted. However, it is clear that the most stable government that could be formed after the election would be led by the UUP and SDLP with a strong input from Alliance MLAs.
“I cannot believe that moderate unionists, who wish to see stability in Northern Ireland, would get any benefit from casting a purely one-sided vote. Instead, they should also show support for those parties likely to play a constructive role, as Alliance has done in the past.
“I have no embarrassment about asking people to use their vote to the full, by marking preferences for all those candidates whose record shows that they are capable of working together constructively. It is a pity that Mr Trimble seems incapable of such a gesture.”