Muir: 100 days on we need urgent reform

Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said the Stormont institutions are in need of “urgent reform”.

Andrew Muir

Mr Muir was speaking ahead of Saturday’s milestone which sees one hundred days since May’s Assembly election.

He added: “Unless we do something soon, we will continue in this cycle of crisis and collapse – with those who want to hold Northern Ireland to ransom pursing their party political aims at the expense of all those struggling across Northern Ireland.

“We need to get the Assembly and Executive up and running urgently, with those who have been open about their desire to do so able to get on with the job. The majority of people voted one hundred days ago for functioning stable government and yet we’ve seen yet again how one party has been able to derail any and all progress to date.

“Alliance has always played a consistent and constructive role in the various negotiations around the institutions over the years, but we are now in the position where we can’t move forward without modest reform – reform to enable us to achieve both the spirt and principles of the Good Friday Agreement.

“Alliance has outlined plans that would significantly restore public confidence in the institutions – while kick-starting devolution and allowing those of us prepared to follow through on what the majority of the public voted for to get on with governing. We have written to both the UK and Irish Governments on these issues, with our proposals including the right to nominate a First or deputy First Minister passing to the next largest party if a party does not nominate, as well as introducing weighted majority voting for ‘cross-community’ votes in the Assembly and restricting the use of petitions of concern and ‘cross-community’ votes within the Executive to specific issues. With 17 MLAs our votes must and should matter on same equal basis as other MLAs.

“one hundred days since May 5 and circumstances have only become worse for many.  With growing waiting lists, job pressures, threats of a recession and concerns over how people will afford to heat their homes in coming months – this winter has the potential to be devastating. It’s time for the DUP to end their shameful games and help the rest of us deal with these pressing issues.”