Maskey hands in nomination papers
South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey, speaking after this morning handing in his nomination papers to the Electoral Office, has said that the forthcoming election presents nationalists with the opportunity of building on the success of the June European elections when, historically, Sinn Féin emerged as the largest party in the North.
Alex Maskey MLA said,
“It is a great honour and privilege for me to stand as the Sinn Féin candidate in South Belfast.
“The forthcoming election presents nationalists with the opportunity of building on the success of the June European elections when, historically, Sinn Féin emerged as the largest party in the North.
“Since the revelation that unionist unity talks were taking place, even before the Hillsborough negotiations, between the DUP, UUP, Conservatives and the Orange Order, there has been growing anger amongst nationalists in South Belfast and elsewhere.
“That anger has heightened in the past number of weeks when the Orange Order directly intervened in the South Belfast election, and unionists agreed a unity candidate in Fermanagh/South Tyrone.
“On the doorsteps of South Belfast people are asking what nationalist politicians are doing to counter this?
“I believe that we have an obligation to consider the wider implications that this will have on the nationalist population to the extent that I was willing to stand aside in this election.
“The decision of the SDLP leader not to meet, refusing to even take a phone call, to discuss the issue of an electoral pact has caused widespread dismay and anger in South Belfast, and amounts to a snub to the nationalist people of this constituency and their concerns.
“I am satisfied that we in Sinn Féin are continuing to build our support in South Belfast. When people vote for Sinn Féin they know they are voting for a better future; a Party that delivers real change, that makes a positive difference in their lives, a Party that will defend the peace process against all comers and provides effective local representation. Our track record of hard work in the constituency speaks for itself, and I look forward to May 6th when the electorate in South Belfast will have their say.” CRÍOCH