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No slow return to majority rule – McGuinness

9 September, 2009

Sinn Féin mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has today reiterated the fact that Sinn Féin will not allow the equality mechanisms enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement to be diluted or undermined in any way.

Speaking today Mr McGuinness said;

“People need to be clear about what Peter Robinson is proposing. It is not a good thing. It will not enhance or expedite decision making. It will only promote exclusion and delay in decision making. It will not help us deal with the issues people want us to deal with.

Many in our community face real hardship in the current economic climate. They don’t know if they will have a job next week. Many people are living with a fear of violence and many are struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads.

They are looking to us both for leadership.

Of course it is disappointing therefore that the big idea propagated by the DUP leader yesterday is to reopen a negotiation which was concluded 11 years ago. They are attempting to change the rules which we all agreed when we re-entered the institutions and endorsed by referendum across Ireland and further endorsed by the DUP following the St Andrews Agreement.

They are doing this because they are harking back to a time when unionism could become a block, marginalise republicans and dictate the type of nationalist they were willing to deal with – it ended 11 years ago and there is no going back. It isn’t lost on people that the DUP are making these proposals following Sinn Fein emerging as the largest party in the north of Ireland at the last election.

Sinn Féin has made it clear repeatedly that the equality and inclusion in decision making, secured in law, will remain.

Be sure of this, DUP attempts to create a slow, staged, incremental return to majority rule will not be allowed to happen. Peter’s proposals in themselves are contradictory, on one hand he is calling for a 65% vote in the Assembly yet on the other demanding unanimity within the Executive.

The arrangements for government that are in place today are not here by accident, they were and are necessary to ensure equality for all our citizens, Sinn Féin will in no way allow those mechanisms to be diluted or undermined in anyway.” CRÍOCH

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