McGuinness - Politics working in new political landscape
Speaking from a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle in Dublin today, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that the last six months had demonstrated clearly that his party had delivered on the mandate given to them by the people.
Mr McGuinness said:
"This week will see the Executive up and running for six months. This time last year we were being told by both the SDLP and UUP that Sinn Féin and the DUP could not make this work. Since May both parties with the support of the Alliance Party have now turned to predicting the collapse of the Good Friday political institutions.
"Time has, and will prove both parties wrong. We have not seen a repeat of the divisions and fall outs witnessed in the last Executive when Seamus Mallon and David Trimble barely spoke to each other.Yet despite this and despite both ourselves and the DUP receiving an increased mandate at the Assembly elections sections of both the UUP and SDLP seem wedded to the failed politics of the past almost hoping that the progress we have made will somehow become undone.
"The people decided that the SDLP and UUP should no longer be the leaders of the Executive. This is called democracy. They should accept the will of the people and move on.
"However that is a matter for themselves. Sinn Féin's job is to get on with the business of driving forward the agenda for change. To make a positive impact on peoples everyday lives. That is what we are doing. This week a further three meetings of the North South Ministerial Council will take place. The Executive will once again meet. Both ourselves and the DUP are engaged in ongoing work with the Taoiseach. This is politics working. This is what people voted for and what people want to see.
"It is my hope that both the SDLP and UUP accept the new political reality and join with us in the Good Friday Agreement institutions, which they both claim to support, and begin delivering for our people and meeting the very many challenges which we will have to overcome in the months and years ahead." ENDS