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DUP proposals ‘fantasy politics’– McGuinness

8 September, 2009

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuiness today dismissed as ‘fantasy politics’ the comments from DUP leader Peter Robinson on the current arrangements in the Assembly and Executive.

Speaking this afternoon Mr McGuinness said;

“Peter Robinson’s comments do not represent the Office of First and deputy First Minister.

The speech made by Mr Robinson is symptomatic of the mixed messages emanating from the DUP over recent times. In my view Peter Robinson is making the same mistakes that David Trimble made in the past; I have stated previously that Peter must not succumb to continually looking over his shoulder in fear of Jim Allister and those within his own party who are opposed to equality and partnership. The present process presents challenges for all of us, however there remains those within the DUP who have deep rooted opposition to equality and partnership government.

It is not surprising that these new proposals emerge in the wake of Sinn Fein becoming the largest party following the European elections. The very fact that Peter’s remarks are in themselves confused and uncertain, in that he advocates a 65% vote in the Assembly, yet unanimity at the Executive, goes some way in highlighting just where the DUP are currently at in relation to moving the process of delivery forward.

Peter’s proposals appear to be some attempt to create the conditions where other parties can gang up on Sinn Féin, that will not be allowed to happen.

The propositions expressed by the DUP leader are fantasy politics.

The rights and safeguards secured under the Good Friday Agreement cannot and will not be changed, these safeguards are a fundamental part of the Agreement and the institutions that flow directly from it and they are here to stay. The people of Ireland overwhelming endorsed these arrangements at referendum and it is ludicrous to suggest they are in some way undemocratic; they were negotiated for because they were and are necessary.

The GFA requires the pursuit of an effective and substantive equality agenda, we must all collectively continue in that work in the coming term and beyond. The safeguards in place can work. The DUP must decide whether or not they want to be a partner in all of this” CRÍOCH

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