04/10/2001

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)

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