Republican Sinn Féin to contest Assembly election

The Press Association are reporting that Republican Sinn Féin are to field candidates in at least 11 of the 18 constituencies for the March 7th Assembly elections on an abstentionist ticket.From the PA report

A Republican Sinn Fein statement said: “At a special meeting of the Comhairle Uladh (Ulster Executive) body of Republican Sinn Fein, a decision was taken to field candidates on an abstentionist basis in at least 11 of the 18 constituencies for the forthcoming Stormont elections.

“Selection conventions will take place in these constituencies within the next seven days, and details of candidates selected, our electoral strategy and policy will be revealed at a press conference in Belfast on the completion of the selection process.”

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  • I wounder will Red Sarah contest South Armagh?

    A welcome development, it’s going to be an enjoyable election!

  • joeCanuck

    Agree Chris.
    A healthy development although I’m not at all pleased that it will be on an abstentionist policy.
    Everyone needs to engage with their political opponents.

  • slug

    An interesting development. Will this be in addition to all the anti-PSNI people? A much more contested marketplace for the nationalist vote this year.

  • dublinsfsupporter

    Like Chris I welcome this decision.

    Not only will it show how little support RSF have, it will bring out a number of extra voters who will very probably transfer to Sinn Fein.

    This will ensure a good tally of MLAs giving momentum/attention to Sinn Fein in the run up to the Dail elections.

  • borden

    Good for RSF,

    it will give true republican a real republican party to vote for. Not Stoop Further. I mean Provo Sinn feiners might as well vote for the SDLP as they might as well vote for a party that has been consistent with its policies and been at least honest with the electorate.

    Interesting to see the provo propagandists on already. Worried boys? I know I’d be.

  • While they present no real threat to Sinn Fein, if they do win any seats and don’t attend Stormont, won’t this just benefit unionists in terms of parliamentary votes?

  • gerry & the peacemakers

    Finally we will see what support RSF etc really have. No doubt the ‘prophetic shock minority’ will say that spoiled votes are really their votes.

    I hope they come to my door where I will be able to show them my calendar saying 2007.

    Why on earth would I vote for a party who have no interest in my interests? Easy to shout from the sidelines – its when it comes to tough decisions that leaders come forward. As we know from Paisley, its easy to say no Ruairi.

  • Diluted Orange

    Wow the choices for the Nationalist community this year are so diverse:

    – SDLP (Currently want to be as tough as the Provos)
    – Sinn Fein (The Provos)
    – RSF (Republican Jihad)

    Having said that the Unionist options aren’t much better.

  • Worried boys? I know I’d be

    The only people who should be worried are those brave souls who are putting the money up for their deposits.

    I wonder if this is a genuine move by RSF to move out from their self-imposed 20 year bunker.

    Do they intend to become more active within the community?

    Like I said before, a welcome development

  • SuperSoupy

    Do they intend to register as a political party with the British?

    If not they will be on the ballot paper as Independents not RSF.

  • Irish Republican in America

    Does this count as RSF recognizing the NI state?

  • Mick Fealty

    As Gonzo points out above, they won’t take their seats. Sinn Fein contested the very first Stormont elections in the 20s and took 6 out of the 12 Nationalist seats. But they didn’t take them.

    It’s a just a variation on a theme. But considering the split with O’Bradaigh in ’86, it certainly looks like a teasing along a certain ‘way’. Though I understand they will be ‘doing their own thing’, wherever they stand.

    Re splitting the anti PSF Republican vote, it only matters in two seats: Newry and Armagh; and Fermanagh South Tyrone. Everywhere else it will be a competition to draw people away from SF.

  • sms

    maybe things will be different for rsf this time round but it is difficult to tell. they are an unknown quantity ,although past experience would suggest they won’t fare too well, during a previous election in west belfast they asked people to spoil their votes in solidarity with a local republican prisoner called tommy crossen and the number of spoiled votes actually went down in that election. a bit of an own goal i would have thought.

  • Yokel

    Drawing away SF support by an abstentionist policy?

    They’ve missed a trick…….

  • Valenciano

    This is odd as RSF have previously not stood because of the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1989/Ukpga_19890003_en_4.htm#sdiv2

    I presume then that prospective MLAs don’t have to sign such a declaration and it only applies to local councils? Any one?

  • Joe

    I believe the Workers Party intend running in most constituencies – can I suggest a slogan ‘30 years and 1,500 lives to early’. Wold love Gerry A to have a debate with them on this issue but I suppose he can’t share a platform with such inconsiderate people that would not continue a war look enough for him to become an international states man.

  • true irishman

    This is a Godsend for Sinn Fein….

    This only serves to muddy the election water further in the Anti-Sinn Fein Britishization policy camp.

    There was a chance for active republicans to put a bit of egg on the faces of the Leadership, but how is it possible to rally support against the British Intelligence election machine which masquerades as the party formally known as Sinn Fein when the opposition looks fractured and weak.

    Two candidates had outstanding chances of severly embarrassing the Shinners Gerry McGeogh and Davy Hyland now with this fucking ridiculous decision taken by either a senile fool, a drug crazed junkie on a bad trip, or a Castle street wino in the midst of the worst case of DT’s imaginable the chance to embarrass the Shinners may be severly and unnecessarily damaged.

    R.S.F were a non existant joke until the walkout at an Army convention and the forming of a larger organisation, even with overtures to bring them on board and the walking on eggshells by more experienced and skilled opperators R.S.F representatives constantly errected hurdles blocked paths and made excuses, what they did manage was to ensure the failure of a Dynamic force which could have created an unstoppable momentum which undoubtably would have seen the Shinners brushes aside by now and it’s leaders brought to justice for its crimes against the Irish Nation, in effect RSF saved Sinn Fein.

    Now out of childish spite R.S.F are throwing their hat in the election ring, well they might as well throw their hat in as there is obviously more brains in the hat than there is in their heads.
    Mark my words at the next Ard Fheis I can already hear Adams make a “well done Ruari” speech.

    To the air-headed non-entities from RSF that created this abortion of an idea, shame on you! if you want to do the Shinners work for them just go to your local Shinner-shop or Cop-shop and join up instead of making public fuckwits of yourselves

  • “We are all partitionists now.”

    PS – I would have thought Mid Ulster is no more or less of a prospect for dissident republicans than FST or N&A; they may not have an established candidate (but they do have one called McGlinchey) but they do have the largest republican base outside West Belfast to work from.

  • Henry94

    Joe

    Wold love Gerry A to have a debate with them on this issue

    I expect every rag tag and bobtail candidate with barely enough support to fill nomination papers will be challenging Gerry Adams to a debate.

    But as we are looking at slogans can I suggest one for the WP.
    70 Years and 50 million lives too late, maybe communism wasn’t all t’was cracked up to be.

  • Henry-

    The provos aren’t exactly averse to selling the odd Che Guevara t-shirt to be fair 😉

  • pete Whitcroft

    The tranfers will be worth watching and the number 2’s if any at the tally.

  • mickhall

    I am not a supporter of RSF, nor am I sympathetic to standing abstentionist candidates, however RSFs decision to stand candidates has nothing to do with childish spite and shame on any republican for claiming so. They have volunteers in jail and quite correctly will use every opportunity to publicize their plight.

    Some shinners should understand that all does not revolve around them, and as has already been pointed out, there is a tradition of Republicans standing in the north on an abstentionist ticket going back to the 1920s. So if this is an abortion of an idea, it is one that generations of republicans, including many in the current leadership of SF have supported in the past.

    RSF have always ploughed there own way, and by their light they have done so in an honorable way. Those candidates from within the dissident camp who intend to take there seats will be the ones to watch, and it is against them that Gerry will aim his heavy artillery.

  • Token Dissent

    Fair play to Joe for stating the truth rather sweetly – everyone’s a Stickie now Gerry!

    In the final analysis RSF standing probably won’t make a major impact, but – and forgive me for this wishful thinking – could it to some degree expose the Shinners to an uncomfortable position? A choice between –

    1) criticising RDF’s outdated republican ideals. This will reveal once more the defeat of the Provisionals’ ideology, and will be uncomfortable to many in PSF.

    2) Aim for republican brownie points by playing up the PIRA’s actions and heading back to the bosom of dark green rhetoric. One would like to think that this might draw some ‘moderate’ nationalist votes away from them.

    At the very least it will add even more comedic posturing to the elections!

  • mickhall

    Token Dissent

    You make an intersting point.

    Best regards.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Would be interested to find out what impact, if any this will have. I mean, they only hold one county council seat in the 26 counties, (i believe they see the county councils and Udarás na Gaeltachta as local politics rather than part of the national electoral system) so do the really pose any serious threat to PSF, regardless of republican dissent?

  • Henry94

    Token Dissent

    I think Sinn Fein will simply ignore them. They haven’t the numbers for a ground campaign and the media won’t pay too much attention to them.

    But let’s be fair and agree in advance what a good result would be. I would say 5% of the vote in any constituency would be credible and 10% would be success. Agreed?

  • J Kelly

    they will get nowhere near 5% to 10% in any constituency that them all between them. Lets get serious about Davy Hyland if hed had a got the SF nomination he would still be a shinner. McGeough is in the same boat if he had a beat Michelle Gildernew for F&ST in 2001 and people will see through this. The irps have colonised foyle and west tyrone which isn’t doing sinn fein any harm at all.

  • borden

    Makes me laugh. PSF really is running scared now. They still haven’t learnt any lessons from the laughable Martin victory speech in 2003 in South Antrim and Mitchel’s early prediciton in Foyle in 05. Remember that one ‘j’??!!
    Look, let’s get serious, PSF is privatley worried of losing up to 30% of voters -either stay at homers, backing a real republican party or dare I say it a few who may switch back from PSF to the stoops (I suppose they might as well as PSF are now the SDLP).
    J Kelly, if that is your real name, don’t you agree that Provo Sinn Feiners are a bit worried??

  • Valenciano

    There’s another problem for RSF – they aren’t on the current register of political parties for NI meaning that their candidates will have to label themselves as ‘independent’ on the ballot paper. That isn’t going to help their quest for votes.

  • True Republican

    The true Sinn Féin will put out their policies to those of the Irish people living within the Occupied Six Counties.

    We are certainly not “all Sticks now”. There is absolutely nothing contrary to Republican policy about fielding on an abstentionist ticket. Indeed, this is how Dáil Éireann was established, before it was later subverted.

    Long Live the All-Ireland Republic!
    An Phoblacht Abú!

  • Indeed, this is how Dáil Éireann was established, before it was later subverted.

    What you mean the 1918 election that no-one now alive was entitled to vote in?

    Some democracy you boys believe in.

  • Pete

    We’re not all sticks now – no some of us are morons

  • Crataegus

    This is going to be a very interesting election. I have no doubt that there is considerable discontent with SF in Republican circles. How the votes for the independents transfer will be very interesting. They may not go to SF.