26/04/2017

Green Party Refuses To Enter Electoral Pact

The Green Party has announced it will not be entering into a "pro-remain" pact ahead of the Westminster election in June.

Leader of the party Steven Agnew said the decision followed discussions between party members.

The party also met with the SDLP, Sinn Fein and the UUP as parties who had previously taken a pro-remain stance.

Mr Agnew said: "The Green Party has a clear vision for a progressive society based on stability and sustainability. We cannot enter into a pact with parties and individual candidates that fall short of that.

"The SDLP's choice of Alasdair McDonnell as a South Belfast candidate effectively put to an end to any chance of an agreed candidate in that constituency. We believe that Clare Bailey is much better placed to unify the electorate.
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"The Green Party could not ask voters to support Alasdair McDonnell. Mr McDonnell doesn't trust women, as evidenced by his position at the forefront of the SDLP anti-choice policy.

"We also met with Sinn Fein about a pro-remain pact. However, they failed to provide any indication that they would take their Westminster seats.

"It is impossible to oppose hard Brexit at every turn without taking seats in Parliament.

"We did meet with the UUP but it is clear that they have abandoned their-pro remain principles.

"I requested a meeting with Alliance leader Naomi Long and she refused to engage with the Green Party on this issue. I am disappointed that Alliance chose to spurn further co-operation among pro-remain parties.

"The irony is that it was Alliance who turned this into a sectarian issue.

"My final message is to voters – we've been right to explore the possibility of a pro-remain pact. However it became clear that there was too much distance between the parties and too little time to bridge the gap."

(CD/LM)

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