Mrs Long said the priority for everyone as we reach 2023 should be reform of the institutions to ensure no one party can collapse them and engage in ransom politics again.
“As we approach the start of a new year, we remain in the midst of a cost of living and cost of doing business crisis the likes of which most of us have never experienced,” she said.
“That is being compounded on a daily basis by the absence of an Assembly and functioning Executive. To engage in ransom politics while many people are unable to feed their families or heat their homes is completely scandalous. Whilst an Assembly and Executive can’t solve all of those problems, it is the difference between being able to do something, as opposed to nothing, to help those in need.
“Democracy has been repeatedly subverted by single parties over the years, so when the institutions return, we must ensure that is unable to happen again. Alliance has outlined a number of reforms which could be made to not only secure their return in the short-term, but ensure they are not held hostage every time the DUP or Sinn Féin decide to not participate.
“We are in an unprecedented period of uncertainty. People made their voices heard in May and it is crucial that is respected. The best New Year’s present for the people of Northern Ireland would be a restored Assembly and Executive, and for every MLA to be allowed to get on with the jobs they were elected to do.”