Petition of concern – outdated and undemocratic

Outdated and undemocratic

Outdated and undemocratic arrangements

“The use of a petition of concern by the DUP during today’s Assembly debate  on the fallout from the Spotlight programme is a clear example of why the current arrangements at Stormont are outdated and in need of change”,

Workers Party spokesperson John Lowry has said.

” Whatever the rationale for the complex voting arrangements at the Stormont  Assembly agreed during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations, they are now past their sell by  date. Today is a clear example of  how the democratic wishes of the assembly are blocked by the petition of  concern. Neither is this the first time this has happened.

If we are to move to a new political dispensation free  of sectarian division then it is time to get rid of arrangements like the  petition of concern, designating as unionist or nationalist, parallel majority  voting and the D’Hont mechanism for forming an Executive.

Until  that is done we will still have a sectarian carve up, a block to democratic  politics and, more importantly, accountability taking place.

The  power to hold the Housing Minister accountable was today trumped by these outdated arrangements.”, concluded Mr Lowry

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