SF plan Ard Fheis decision on policing for post-election date

While the fudge today continues to be examined, and not withstanding the other drama, word arrives of a case of perhaps too much candour, for his party’s leadership, by SF MLA Francie Brolly. Speaking to a journalist for the French-language paper Le Temps, apparently before today’s events, he revealed what had been suspected. Sinn Féin appear to have decided they will not move to support the police before the March election and, perhaps, not until the summer – there doesn’t seem to be anything lost in translation btw.

“It [SF Ard Fheis on policing] will take place quickly if we obtain a good result in the elections but perhaps only during the marching season.”

Translated from the original article in Le Temps by Eric Albert

A Political Agreement Possible but Fragile

The Northern Ireland Assembly has to meet again exceptionally on Friday. The British Government wants it to designate the two first ministers that will share power: Ian Paisley the elderly leader of the DUP (unionist), and Martin McGuiness the chief negotiator of Sinn Féin (republican). But these nominations will be conditional, suspended until recognition of the police by Sinn Féin. On Thursday the DUP threatened however not to proceed to these conditional nominations, preferring to wait for an official gesture from Sinn Féin.

The political wing of the IRA has to convene a special conference to recognise the police, but for at a still unknown date. In principle it should happen before elections, anticipated for 7 March leading to a coalition government on 26 March. Francie Brolly Sinn Féin assembly member revealed to The Times that it is possible that the meeting of his party would not take place until after the elections, “It will take place quickly if we obtain a good result in the elections but perhaps only during the marching season.” Such a scenario risks the failure of the whole process.[added emphasis]

In the accompanying article Francie Brolly also pointed to recent polls predicting a 18-19% loss of party support when the move comes.

“A recent poll suggests that we would lose 18 to 19% of our support if we recognized the PSNI”, continued Francie Brolly.

So much for target dates and commitments – or deadlines and conditions for that matter.