Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Governments must reassert their role in the political process

26 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP today said that Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern had to set out in very clear terms the next steps in the political process if there is to be any possibility of the political institutions being put back in place in the time ahead.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Public confidence in the political process is being undermined day and daily by the failure of the DUP to engage and the fact that the two governments have continually pandered to this position. All of the other parties have spent the past six weeks trying to get the political institutions back up and running. The two governments have been content to sit back and wait for the DUP to come on board. This is entirely the wrong approach and the two governments need to take control of this process.

"This weeks Hillsborough visit by the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister provides an opportunity for the two governments to reassert their leadership role and stand by the Good Friday Agreement. It is pointless for the governments to come here on Thursday and simply restate a vague hope that progress is being made. The fact is that little or no progress has been made in the past number of weeks in bringing the DUP on board for an inclusive power sharing Executive.

"The past few weeks have been marked by increased DUP intransigence, increased DUP negativity and increased DUP blocking. This situation is unacceptable and the governments have an obligation to ensure that progress is made and the process is not allowed to grind to a halt. That means removing the ability of the DUP to block forward movement and setting out in very clear terms the next steps to be taken in the political process." ENDS

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