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Green team strike a confident note as they bid to break Stormont deadlock

By David Young

Green Party leader Steven Agnew struck a bullish note at the launch of the party's manifesto yesterday.

Proclaiming that the "green surge is on", the North Down candidate joined party colleagues Clare Bailey, South Belfast candidate and Green Chair and Strangford candidate Ricky Bamford to address supporters in Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre.

Outlining the party's vision for breaking the predicted post-election deadlock, Mr Agnew said: "I've heard many politicians say that this election will bring about little in the way of change - that's only because these politicians have no new ideas.

"We are the only party with an equal number of women and men and we're standing a Green across each of the 18 constituencies.

"Our manifesto provides a raft of fresh and practical policies which challenge the politics of waste and advance progressive politics.

"For example, the Greens are the only party to propose a constitutional convention after this election, a key manifesto proposal. Such a convention has the potential to reinvigorate the Good Friday Agreement and bring decision making closer to the people."

Mr Agnew said he believes the people are ahead of politicians on many of the issues that have proven to be sticking points in past negotiations, such as marriage equality.

"I am confident ahead of this election. In 2016 we received our highest vote ever and it is predicted support for the Green Party will increase by a further 45% across Northern Ireland. My message is simple - hate waste - vote green," he added.

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