Sinn Féin have announced the selection of two candidates for next year’s Assembly Elections.
Selected last Thursday night were sitting MLA and Minister for Education, John O’Dowd and party colleague, Deputy Mayor of Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, Catherine Seeley.
Mr O’Dowd MLA, who topped the poll in the last Assembly election, and Ms Seeley, who earned Sinn Féin’s highest ever vote in the constituency back in May’s Westminster election, will be viewed as a very strong duo as the party aim to win two seats in Upper Bann.
Sinn Fein will be striving to win a second Assembly seat in Upper Bann either at the expense of the SDLP or one of the unionist parties.
Mr O’Dowd said, “I am very pleased to announce that Sinn Féin will be running two candidates in the next Assembly election in Upper Bann.
“I am honoured to have been one of those selected, along with my colleague Catherine Seeley.”
He continued, “Sinn Féin have a realistic project in this constituency to maximise progressive representation based on equality for all.
“I firmly believe only the election of two Sinn Féin candidates in Upper Bann can make a real, progressive impact; as we face into a difficult, but important, battle against the British Government’s austerity agenda.
“Their agenda is aimed not only aimed at the most vulnerable and poorest in our society but also at struggling, working families. Austerity is not working, we need strong voices to stand up against it.”
Ms Seeley also made it clear that only Sinn Féin can make the type of impact required to challenge the Tory Government,
“Austerity is an attack on our society, and on all sections of our society.
“In the last Assembly term Sinn Féin had 29 seats, just one short of the 30 seat mark required to avail of the Petition of Concern mechanism. A mechanism that can stop legislation not based on equality or aimed to serve the few. Huge political importance lies with the gaining of more seats to reach this mark, not least as we stand up to the austerity agenda.”
She concluded, “As always I will strive to represent all the people of Upper Bann to the best of my ability, and I am confident that the electorate will see the importance of Sinn Féin’s anti-Austerity message.”