Sinn Fein challenges Moutray on power sharing

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A SINN Fein Councillor has challenged fellow councillor Stephen Moutray MLA to clarify his position regarding power sharing.

Councillor Mark O’Dowd made the call after the DUP member opposed the introduction of the D’Hondt system for the appointment of Council Chair and Vice-chair.

During a debate in chamber Cllr O’Dowd challenged Cllr Moutray over his opposition to the adoption of the D’Hondt system.

The Sinn Féin Councillor, who accused Cllr Mountray of ‘double-jobbing’, said: “I pointed out to the councillor the absurdity of his position as an Assembly Member in a power-sharing government who refused to countenance the same system in a council which is under the control of that Assembly. In response Mr Moutray indicated very clearly that his acceptance of the terms of the international agreement which form the basis for power sharing was not by choice.”

Mark O’Dowd pointed out that the apparent hard line view of the MLA was at odds with both the wishes of the electorate and the frequently expressed position of his own party.

The Councillor said: “Mr Moutray not only has a choice, he has an obligation to the electorate who voted for him as a member of a pro-power sharing party. If he has no commitment to either the institutions of government enshrined in international agreement or to the creation of a shared future he should resign.

“The Assembly Member cannot keep a foot in either camp and retain integrity. If he supports the continuation of a system of apartheid government he should go before the electorate on that platform. The result would be interesting as he would no doubt collect votes across traditional divides from all those opposed to the continuation of the Peace Process.”