Doherty - Decision time for the two governments
Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty speaking this morning said “It’s decision time for the two governments.” He said “In the coming days the Irish and British governments are due to set out their proposals for the restoration of the political institutions. It is vital that these proposals are guided by the principles at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and not by the insatiable demands of Ian Paisley.”
Mr Doherty said:
“This month marks the eight anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. It is nearly twelve years since the IRA called its ceasefire and last year it formally ended its armed campaign. Despite all of the progress that has been made, the reality is that there is a deepening political crisis - power-sharing institutions set up under the Good Friday Agreement haven’t functioned for nearly three years and key elements of the Agreement are at risk of vanishing altogether.
“Sinn Féin, the Irish and British governments and most other political parties believe that the best way to end this impasse is through the restoration of the Assembly, the Executive and all-Ireland structures. The only party preventing this from happening is the DUP.
“Once again this morning Ian Paisley set out the DUP's position. It is clear that there has been no road to Damascus conversion. The DUP remain as opposed to the Good Friday Agreement as they were in 1998. They are opposed to power-sharing political institutions. They are opposed to key elements of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The difference now is that the governments seem intent on allowing Ian Paisley to dictate their approach to the way forward. This is deeply concerning to nationalists and republicans throughout Ireland.
“Sinn Féin wants to see the political institutions restored. We want to see an end to British day release ministers making a mess of the economy and taking disastrous decisions in relation to health, education, farming and transport. But creating mickey mouse work for a Shadow Assembly with no real powers is not the way forward. It would be a costly, undemocratic farce.
“We believe that the suspension should be lifted and the Assembly reconvened to elect a First and Deputy First Minster and the appointment of Ministers. If this fails to happen then the Assembly should be scrapped and the salaries paid to the MLAs should be withdrawn. The governments should then proceed with all of the outstanding aspects of the Agreement.
“In the coming days the Irish and
British governments are due to set out their proposals for the restoration
of the political institutions. It is vital that these proposals are
guided by the principles at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and not
by the insatiable demands of Ian Paisley.”ENDS