Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

28 August 2003 Edition

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Hold elections now

The most recent crisis within the Ulster Unionist Party is the latest installment of what has become an increasingly frustrating saga for those of us committed to seeing the Good Friday Agreement implemented.

Five years on from Good Friday 1998, it is not acceptable that the British government are content to sit on their hands while the UUP lurch from one internal crisis to another.

Politics cannot be repeatedly put on hold to satisfy the demands of David Trimble and the UUP. We must see urgency injected into the political process.

The failure to fully develop and sustain the Executive and the cancelling of the Assembly Elections was a hugely damaging blow to the Agreement.

The denial of the right to vote in fresh elections has sent shockwaves through popular opinion here, in Britain and internationally. It stands democracy on its head and causes uncertainty about the future. At a time when politics must be seen to work, to deliver change, we have a political vacuum.

Tony Blair now stands at a crossroads. He can prevent a dangerous political vacuum by announcing a definite autumn date for Assembly elections. Or he can continue to destabilise the situation by denying the peaceful and democratic right to vote. The choice is his.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1