Category: Archive

De Brun urges elections

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

I am pressing for elections, she said this week on a stop-off in New York. The wishes of over 70 percent of the electorate should be heard.
All the parties are keen to go ahead, she explained, with the exception being the Ulster Unionist Party, which is facing a strong challenge from the anti-agreement Democratic Unionist Party.
There is something fundamentally wrong about canceling an election - its denying people power in their own country, she said. It is the act of people who want to dictate the message.
This is the message she is bringing to Washington, where she is meeting with congressional leaders. It has been the message that her party has reiterated since the British government cancelled elections for the second time two weeks ago. They were slated to be held on May 29, after an earlier postponement from May 1. The power-sharing executive was suspended last October and the British and Irish governments have since been struggling to put things back together again.
However, de Brun is critical of those efforts, especially those of the British, who she said put saving the Ulster Unionist Party leader, David Trimble, before the interests of the peace process, which she thinks has been gravely damaged by the latest cancellation.
The implementation of the Good Friday agreement was being put through the prism of what Trimble can cope with, she claimed.
The elections were cancelled after both governments rejected an IRA statement on its future intentions as too ambiguous. Had the statement been less so, would it not have made a difference, she was asked?
It wouldnt have mattered what the IRA said, she replied. It was not going to go through.
She said that the dissident Unionist Jeffrey Donaldson had already made that clear earlier when he declared that the Joint Declaration by the Irish and British governments, which spelled out their plans to implement the agreement, would never be accepted by the UUPs governing body, regardless of IRA statements. According to de Brun, the subsequent role of London was merely to provide a cover for Trimble and at the same time give the government a chance to call off the elections.
De Brun will be in Washington on Wednesday and meets with the New York Times editorial board on Thursday. On Tuesday, Sinn Fein place an ad in the New York Times attacking Britains decision.

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