Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Allister hoping to ‘paralyse’ Assembly

Hardline unionist Jim Allister has spelt out his aim to force the next Stormont Assembly into paralysis, making it unable to form an Executive.

But he has also made clear that while his Traditional Unionist Voice party favours voluntary coalition as opposed to the current mandatory one, it would not go into government with Sinn Fein in any terms.

The former MEP was responding to DUP leader Peter Robinson’s call for a shake-up in the Assembly voting system to prevent continual delays with parties using their respective vetoes under the current ‘community designations’ as unionist, nationalist and other.

In an article for today’s Belfast Telegraph, Mr Allister argues the solution is to win a “sufficient bridgehead” of Traditional Unionist MLAs in the next Assembly to force change.

“Faced with the end of mandatory coalition, voluntary coalition will be accepted, even by those who now claim otherwise, because without it they will have no Stormont and that would never suit politicians and parties wholly dependent on it for their financial and political lifeline,” he writes.

“By choice TUV would not be entering a coalition with Sinn Fein, but if by the persuasion of others they can attain government by the route of voluntary coalition, from which the electorate have the right to remove them at the next election, then we would accept such and perform the role of opposition.”

Why Stormont is not up to the mark: Jim Allister, page 26

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