Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has accused the SDLP of betraying a key principle of the Agreement after they reached a settlement with the DUP that there would be no vote whatsoever in the Assembly to approve ministers taking office.
Speaking from St. Andrews, David Ford said: “Alliance is fundamentally opposed to the notion of forming an Executive
without any requirements for approval by the Assembly.
“One of the major problems within the last Assembly was the lack of collectivity within Government. Rather than improving the situation, this proposal will only make things worse.
“This is not power-sharing but power division. Parties will be able to take their places in government without having to acknowledge and respect the mandates of others. This is no basis on which to form, never mind sustain, any type of government that is supposed to be acting in the interests of the whole community.
“There is a real danger that parties could hold government ministries but not act as part of and executive or recognise their ministerial colleagues.
“Alliance believes that there should be an Assembly vote to endorse the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and a collective vote to endorse the entire executive. At the very least there should be a vote to endorse the entire Executive. This at least would be a move towards some collectivity. The SDLP’s proposals are a major step backwards.”
“The SDLP have got themselves so worked up about not voting for an Executive that they have rowed back from the fundamental principles of the Good Friday Agreement.”