Political process in trouble unless Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern take decisive action
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP, speaking at a meeting of party activists in Dublin City this morning, said ‘We are coming to the end of the six week sitting of the Hain Assembly and we need to recognise that no progress has been made. The DUP have shown no interest in sharing power and have been allowed by the two governments to prevent progress being made. He said: ‘the political process will be in serious trouble unless Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern take decisive action when they come to Belfast next week.’
Mr. Adams said he was initiating a review process within the party regarding Sinn Féin’s involvement in the Hain Assembly. He said ‘Sinn Féin was more than willing to be involved in any genuine effort to restore the political institutions but we will not participate in an ongoing farce.’ The review process will begin next week with a meeting with the party’s Officer Board and the party negotiations committee. There will also be meetings of the Sinn Féin Assembly team. The party’s Ard Chomhairle is meeting on July 15th. The process is expected to conclude at the end of the summer.
Mr. Adams said:
“Sinn Féin wants to see fully functioning political institutions restored and we are doing everything that we can to make this happen. For the last six weeks all of the parties in the Assembly, with the exception of the DUP, have been attempting to get the political institutions back up and running. But the reality is that there has been no progress. In fact the DUP are now even less engaged in the political process than they were before. The DUP have shown no interest in being involved in power sharing institutions and have stated publicity on numerous occasions that they couldn’t care less about the November 24th deadline.
“The British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will travel to the north next week. The next phase of the process will be defined by what they say and more importantly what they do. If there is to be any possibility of the power sharing institutions being restored in the coming months there is a need for them to take decisive action. There is no point in them coming to Belfast to give the parties a pep talk or to pretend that progress has been made in recent weeks. They need to acknowledge that the current situation is totally unacceptable and is dangerously undermining the public’s confidence.
“I am calling on the governments to use the opportunity to set out in detail how they now intend to move forward. No party should be allowed to block or delay progress.
“As we said we would do at the beginning of this current phase, Sinn Féin now intends to review our position regarding the Hain Assembly. We are more than willing to be involved in any genuine effort to restore the political institutions but we will not participate in a farce that is driving the political process into deeper crisis and making the public increasingly cynical. The review will begin next week and conclude at the end of the summer..”ENDS