Fermanagh Sinn Féin Confident – Ó Reilly
Fermanagh Sinn Féin council group leader, Thomas Ó Reilly said:
"Sinn Féin are currently undergoing our selection process for this by-election. We will be putting forward a strong candidate based on our record locally and nationally.
"Whatever about the infighting which is going on within unionism which has led to this by-election and now led to the bizarre candidacy of Arlene Foster, a sitting Minister, who has just resigned from the same council and who recently proposed legislation to end dual mandates, one thing is certain for the electors in Enniskillen - Sinn Féin is the only party who can capture this seat from the unionist parties.
"It is therefore vital that nationalists and republicans seek to maximise the united Ireland vote at this poll. We are confident that in the coming weeks as the campaign gets underway that we will see another strong Sinn Féin performance in this area."
Note to editor,
Arlene Foster as Minister speaking on the RPA issue on 31 March 2008 has stated in the Assembly-
"In examining the structural reform of local government, we also considered the number of councillors that will be required under the new arrangements. We examined the need for appropriate representation against the background of a fully functioning Assembly and Executive, and the need to ensure efficient working and decision-making. We weighed those factors and came to the view that Belfast should retain an upper limit of around 60 councillors and that the remaining councils would have an upper limit of around 40 councillors. The determination of the precise number of councillors for each new local government district will be informed by the report from the independent local government boundaries commissioner on the number of wards in each new district.
Linked to the rationalisation of the number of councils and councillors, I will introduce a severance scheme in order to recognise the contribution of long-standing councillors who opt not to stand for re-election and to facilitate the modernisation and renewal of local government. The development of the detail of the scheme will be informed by the report and recommendations of the councillors' remuneration working group, which reported in June 2006.
In addition, I intend to work with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Office in order to introduce legislative proposals to end the dual mandate of those councillors who are also Members of the Assembly and/or Parliament. In order to facilitate a smooth transition over a period of time, and in keeping with the desire that the review of public administration should result in savings, I will also work with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Office to introduce transitional legislative provisions to provide for any vacancies in local government that result from the ending of the dual mandate to be filled on the basis of co-option rather than by-election."