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Steven Agnew argues it’s time to consider voluntary coalition

Tuesday 05 September 2017

Green Party leader Steven Agnew has said that voluntary coalition must be considered rather than accepting the collapse of devolution as a given.

The North Down MLA has made the call amidst DUP and Sinn Fein failure to reach agreement around forming a new Executive.

Steven Agnew MLA said: “Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and I find it depressing that we could reach that milestone without functioning institutions.

“We have been well served by the Good Friday Agreement, but our institutions must adapt to survive.”

Steven Agnew MLA also questioned Sinn Fein’s commitment to the Assembly and Executive and warned of the impact on the lives of people:

“The sense is growing that Sinn Fein has no intention of going back into government. Their abstentionist position at Westminster is well known but the question is whether this now extends to Stormont?

“Unfortunately, such an approach does nothing for patients on waiting lists or head teachers operating with shrinking budgets.

“Voluntary coalition is not a new idea but it’s time to look for what is possible and preferable to the current situation. No party should have the power to tear the institutions down and leave the electorate in Northern Ireland powerless.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Full piece on Slugger O’Toole online.

https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/09/05/soapbox-steven-agnew-argues-that-its-time-to-look-at-voluntary-coalition/

Media contact – Sinead McIvor

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