Unionists must demonstrate commitment to power sharing – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said today that the behaviour of unionist leaders was helping no one and that “nationalists and republicans need certainty that unionism genuinely wants to participate in power sharing; and will do so constructively. Unionism must prove that it wants the institutions to work for every citizen and all sections of our society.”
Mr Adams said:
“It is expected that the report by the British government appointed commission into ‘paramilitaries’ will be published shortly. Whatever its conclusions Sinn Féin will not tolerate any erosion of the rights of citizens to vote for Sinn Féin and to be represented by Sinn Féin.
“The cynical exploitation by unionist political leaders, in particular Mike Nesbitt of the Ulster Unionist party, of the murders of Jock Davison and Kevin McGuigan, has brought the political institutions in the north to the point of collapse and significantly undermined public confidence in the political system and parties. Mr Nesbitt saw an opportunity to electioneer on this issue and has put nearly two decades of relative peace and progress at risk because he seeks more votes than the DUP.
“The behaviour of unionist leaders helps no one. On the contrary their damaging approach to resolving difficulties in the political process has created huge frustration among Sinn Féin activists, and the wider republican and nationalist community, who don’t believe that unionist leaders are serious about making politics work.
“In the weeks ahead there are major political challenges facing the current negotiations.
“Firstly the British and Irish governments must honour their commitments. They have failed to do this thus far.
“The British government has to provide a viable, workable sustainable budget, which allows the Executive to deliver public services and proper protections for the most vulnerable in our society.
“The commitment to address legacy issues agreed in the Haass talks and in the Stormont House Agreement must be reflected in any final legislation produced by the British government.
“Nationalists and republicans need certainty that unionism genuinely wants to participate in power sharing; and will do so constructively. Unionism must prove that it wants the institutions to work for every citizen and all sections of our society. The deliberately slow and damaging approach of unionist leaders is no longer tolerable or acceptable.
“After nearly 18 years of the Good Friday Agreement and eight years of a working Executive and Assembly, and all-island institutions, there are increasing numbers of citizens who seriously doubt the capacity of political unionism to ever share power in good faith and consequently for the institutions to work.”