Sinn Féin - On Your Side

SDLP MP support for Direct Rule - shows party in disarray

16 March, 2006

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP today called on the SDLP leader Mark Durkan to come clean on his party's actual position on the restoration of the political institutions. Mr Doherty's remarks come after South Down MP Eddie McGrady stated yesterday in the British House of Commons that the SDLP would consider NIO Ministers exercising executive powers.

Mr Doherty said:

"It appears that the SDLP are in complete and total disarray when it comes to their position on restoring the political institutions. One day they are following the Sinn Féin and Good Friday Agreement line demanding that the British government lift suspension. On the next they are seeking alternatives to the power sharing core of the Agreement. On the next they are seeking British government appointed commissioners to run the departments and yesterday Eddie McGrady said that they would be prepared for NIO Ministers to run the departments.

"Unsurprisingly the DUP have seized upon this latest policy switch and have welcomed the SDLP departure from the ground of the Good Friday Agreement and full power sharing, onto the ground of Direct Rule and the opponents of change.

"Mark Durkan needs to come clean and tell us exactly where his party stands on this crucial issue. Are they standing by the Agreement or are they following the lead being set by the DUP and seeking to prop up the discredited Direct Rule Administration. If the SDLP are to retain any credibility they need to stop equivocating on the Good Friday Agreement and remove from the table once and for all their daft proposals for institutions less than what the Agreement demands and what the people voted for." ENDS

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