Alliance Party Leader, Sean Neeson, has said that suspension is a damning indictment of the failure of the pro-Agreement parties to implement the Agreement, but it is the better option compared to elections.
Sean Neeson said:
“It is unfortunate that once again the Secretary of State has had to suspend the Assembly. However, in the circumstances currently facing Northern Ireland, suspension is the better option. It now gives us yet another chance to address the outstanding issues facing the Agreement.”
“We have already had two elections this year that have substantially polarised the community. Another election would achieve little. Indeed, at a time when there is the potential for progress with the latest IRA statement, it would simply block any hope of movement as parties freeze their positions. When we come we would face just the same issues, but with the parties on the extremes in a more powerful position.”
“The next few weeks must now be a time of reflection for all the parties. This suspension is a damning indictment of the pro-Agreement parties failure to overcome what to many outsiders seem to be very minor issues.”
“People must look a the bigger picture and realise that if we are to live together in this society, then all sides must be prepared to understand and accommodate the problems of each other.”
“But I am convinced if the parties can establish the necessary trust, and show sufficient will then we can properly implement the Agreement, and then begin to build a shared, non-sectarian Northern Ireland.”
“It is important that parties do not now create another artificial deadline six weeks from the lifting of this suspension. This week has shown that belated moves and brinkmanship do not achieve anything. We must now focus on addressing the outstanding issues well in advance of this date.”