Will SF ministerial nominees be able to take the pledge on 26th March?

Elections are to be held on 7th March 2006 (results on 8th March). Nominations for ministers are to be held on 14th March 2007. D’hondt is to run and power devolved on 26th March 2006 and ministers expected to take a pledge of office making clear reference to supporting the police. So says the NIO, the St Andrew’s Agreement and the legislation. SF has made clear no pledge will be taken until the Ard Fheis has met. Francis Brolly says a policy shift is reliant on a good election result on 7th March and may be delayed for months after it. This leaves 18 days to agree, call, hold and win an Ard Fheis, can it be done?

  • dpef

    Well, SF’s normal Ard Fheis is currently held in Feb or early March. Motions on policing and altering the current position can be heard then without the need for a special Ard Fheis.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mightn’t be necessary, FD. Ian Paisley today declared that he will not support a power-sharing government if he doesn’t get a good election result in March.

    Such a statement kinda leaves everything up in the air: what exactly constitutes a ‘good’ election results? Retaining the 30 – or should that be 33- seats?

    Furthermore, if we don’t get movement from the DUP over the timetable for devolution on policing, will the Brits be likely to pursue a second election in 4 years to a non-existent assembly?

  • fair_deal

    CD

    The first person to mention a good election result was Francis Brolly, SF MLA. Also Martin McGuinness also mentioned today in the Chamber about the need for electorate endorsement. SF can hardly object to Paisley saying the same thing as they have.

    “if we don’t get movement from the DUP over the timetable for devolution on policing”

    Under the SAA the DUP don’t have to agree just discuss it. Also you don’t get something for nothing. You want movement on policing and justice SF has to move on other issues. I have made my suggestion on a different thread 😉

  • slug

    Surely the point about a good election result is only courteous to the electorate who in democratic theory are the ones who are supposed to determine who takes up these posts, by determining how many seats each party gets.

  • Truth and Justice

    Sein Fein are starting to make excuses and are looking for a way out, the ball is firmly in their court, they clearly did not expect the DUP to get over the hurdle yesterday!

  • Greenflag

    Here’s another hurdle for SF to leap over courtesy of that wll versed and ‘knowledgeable’ commentator on matters Irish none other than the Times .

    ‘ The Sinn Fein high command could make life much easier for its potential coalition partners by suggesting a figure less controversial than Martin McGuinness to serve as Deputy First Minister.Ulster has seen enough pantomime over the years. It is time to get serious.’

    Is there a special species of English clown that the Times drags out on occassions like yesterday’s ? Just where do they dig them up ?

    ‘Ulster has seen enough pantomime over the years. It is time to get serious.’

    The Times can’t even get the State’s title right -It’s Northern Ireland . As for pantomime ?

    What else has British rule ever been in Ireland North or South other than ‘pantomime’.

    Here’s an Irish suggestion for the next Times ‘editorial ‘ on Northern Ireland devolution .

    ‘ The DUP high command could make life much easier for its potential coalition partner by suggesting a figure less controversial than fundamentalist cleric Rev Ian Paisley to serve as First Minister. Northern Ireland has seen enough pantomime from this clown over the years. It is time to get serious.’

  • Reader

    “Francis Brolly says a policy shift is reliant on a good election result on 7th March and may be delayed for months after it.”
    Surely a swing to the SDLP would also be a reason to accept policing? In fact, unless SF has made a decision, what does a vote for SF actually mean?

  • DMcM

    I cannot believe the total cheek of Sinn Fein and the DUP. They are only interested in more power from this election. They dont have to agree to anything prior to this election. WHAT A JOKE!!!
    When they receive their massive votes this time, it will only be further endorsement for each party to justify their hardline positions and NOT move forward.
    Politics here has become such a joke. The Irish/British problem will never ever be solved because a ton of idiots that live here will go out and vote for the DUP and Sinn Fein.
    Anyone who endorses any of these parties at the next election is voting for no future here. Disagree, if you want but there are 2 problems in setting up devolved administration:

    1: Sinn Fein
    2: DUP

    IF UUP and SDLP got the majority vote in the next election I think the 26th March would see a devolved administration.
    Its up to the voters.

  • slug

    Perhaps the SDLP and UUP should – in the upcoming elections – try to capitalise on this general sense of frustration and make virtue of their ability to work together by way of a paired press conference during the campaign?

    If people start to see them as a “alternative pairing” then that might be a way forward.

  • DMcM

    It sounds like a good idea Slug but are the voters mature enough to see that? I think the majority of voters here are firmly stuck in tribal politics which is really where the problem is.

  • slug

    DMcM

    I think its an approach that might bring some results. It is a way of making what might have seemed like a weakness into a strength.