Sinn Féin end dual mandates
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD today announced that Sinn Féin would be bringing an end to dual mandates in the coming weeks. Mr Adams announced that Martin McGuinness would be resigning his Westminster seat and the other four Sinn Féin MPs will resign their seats in the Assembly.
Mr Adams said:
“Over the past number of years Sinn Féin have been addressing the issue of elected representatives who hold multiple mandates. Our party policy has been to phase out this practice entirely. We have recently completed the this with MLAs who also held positions at local council level and are now moving on to address the issue of MPs who also sit in the Assembly in a decisive way.
“Martin will resign as MP for Mid-Ulster to concentrate on his work in the Assembly and as deputy First Minister. This will obviously necessitate a by-election for Westminster.
“Michelle, Pat, Conor and Paul will resign their seats in the Assembly. It will be then up to Sinn Féin to hold conventions to fill these positions by co-option. We aim to have this task completed by July 2nd.
“I want to pay tribute to the MPs for their work in the Assembly over a number of terms and of course Michelle and Conor both served as Executive Ministers.
“It may be the case that some of our MPs will return to the Assembly following the next elections in 2015 or 2016. In terms of immediate effect this will mean that each of the5 constituencies will have increased and stronger elected representation.And we are confident we will be able to enhance the constituency service we provide in these areas.
“All of the MPs are significant political figures both within their constituency and nationally.We expect them to remain so. They won’t be taking their seats in the British House of Commons.However they will be freed up for an increased lobbying activity in both Britain and elsewhere with respect to policy areas that are particularly relevant to their constituents and also, of course with respect to the promotion of the case for Irish unity.
“We are in a continuing process of party building north and south. Our membership is increasing,support for our political analysis and our core objective is increasing.
“Other parties have spoken about ending the practice of dual mandates; we have now acted to make it happen.”
When asked about the issue of meeting the English Queen by the media at the press conference, Martin McGuinness said:
“This is a massive ask for Irish Republicans. At this time we do not have a doable proposition.”