Alliance Party poised to elect new leader

The Alliance Party will elect a new leader this weekend to replace Sean Neeson, who stepped down as party leader last month.

Two candidates have put themselves forward to fill the position of party leader - Assembly member for South Antrim, David Ford and Assembly member for North Down, Eileen Bell, who was recently appointed as Alliance Party Deputy Leader.

The new leader of the Alliance Party will be elected at a meeting of up to 160 delegates under a proportional representation single transferable vote system. The vote of more than 50 per cent of those present will be necessary to secure the position of the new leader.

The Alliance Party council has been split recently by a number of serious disagreements. Earlier this year former Deputy Leader of the party Seamus Close resigned over differences with the party leadership’s decision not to field a candidate for the North Down Westminster general election. (SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 October 2001
Alliance elect Ford as new leader
Northern Ireland's moderate centre political party, Alliance, has elected a new leader who has pledged to win back support from both Protestants and Catholics. David Ford beat deputy leader Eileen Bell by 86-45 votes for the leadership taken at a meeting of party delegates on Saturday October 6.
08 March 2002
Alliance Party steps into the amnesty debate
The Alliance Party went on the offensive over terrorist amnesties amid reports that there may be as many as 200 republicans applying under the measure. Alliance Party leader David Ford stepped into the imbroglio and made a proposal which in effect repackages the amnesty measures to make it more palatable to a sceptical public.
22 June 2001
FOLLOWING a series of disagreements within the Alliance Party Northern Ireland leadership, Seamus Close has resigned from his position as the party’s deputy leader. Mr Close said: “Recently, I have disagree with several decisions in the Alliance Party, including that of withdrawing from North Down during the General Election.
11 August 2011
Protestors Fail To Confront Alliance Leader
Republicans have this morning missed their target and failed to confront the NI Justice Minister over a prison dispute. They staged their protest in support of prisoners at the Alliance Party headquarters in south Belfast - but failed in their mission to come face to face with the Alliance Leader David Ford who is also the Justice Minister.
06 August 2008
'Joint' Bid To Recall Assembly Possible
A top Ulster Unionist member has come out in support of an SDLP call to convene a special meeting of the Stormont Assembly. The UUP's Deputy Leader Danny Kennedy has admitted his party share SDLP concerns over what they are calling "a growing crisis at Stormont".