Constitutional Convention can revitalise the Good Friday Agreement

Monday 23 January 2017

Steven Agnew MLA has called for the establishment of a Constitutional Convention to review, reform and revitalise the Good Friday Agreement.

The Green Party leader made the call during an Assembly motion dealing with post-election all-party talks today.

Steven Agnew MLA said: “A Constitutional Convention would devolve power back to the people.

“The traditional parties are at odds as to whether the constitutional future of post-election Northern Ireland should be handed to the British or Irish governments.

“I believe that citizens should be engaged in a process to decide our future.

“Indeed, the public are ahead of politicians on many constitutional issues. Fresh perspectives are needed around matters such the use of the petition of concern in the Assembly, community designation which enshrines sectarianism and voluntary coalition.

“These are issues which the traditional parties have so far failed to address and much time and opportunity has been wasted as a result.”

The Constitutional Convention would be comprised of members of the public, randomly selected and broadly representative of Northern Irish society.

A number of political representatives would sit alongside the people and would be nominated by their parties.

The North Down MLA concluded:

“Public confidence in politics is at an historic low point in Northern Ireland as a result of the RHI fiasco and the continued waste and failings of traditional parties.

“Politicians and people working side-by-side has the potential to revitalise the Good Friday Agreement and politics more broadly.”

ENDS

Media contact: Sinead McIvor (07701 302 498)

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