PUP Leader Cllr Billy Hutchinson has called on both DUP and Sinn Fein to resign from government. He also said the current situation at Stormont is "complete chaos" that can only be solved by a "fully inclusive process leading to a new agreement."
Cllr Hutchinson said, "The situation at Stormont has become totally dysfunctional and has led to a crisis in confidence and undermined the legitimacy of our democratic institutions. This crisis has been caused by Sinn Fein and the DUP's collective failure to govern in the interests of the people, and to act with honesty and integrity. Both parties should resign from government immediately."
Cllr Hutchinson continued, "If you're car breaks down once then it's right to get it fixed, but if your car breaks down time after time, particularly when you need it most, then it's time to get a new car. This is the same with Stormont, it will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis until everyone is open and honest about the need to address issues, especially Sinn Fein about the continued existence of the Provisional IRA."
Cllr Hutchinson continued, "The PUP is fully committed to local devolution and power sharing government. However, it is obvious that we are now in dire need of a new agreement to allow democracy to develop properly and flourish, one based on the principle of a formal opposition. Just as the Good Friday Agreement and St Andrews Agreement grew from an inclusive process, then a new agreement must also."
Cllr Hutchinson continued, "For any process to be successful, and for any agreement to be meaningful, then there is a necessity for an inclusive and all party talks process. The process and agreement must be fully predicated on the principle of consent regarding the constitutional position of Northern Ireland."
Cllr Hutchinson continued, "The process must also provide the context through which paramilitarism in our communities can be ended once and for all. Loyalist paramilitary organisations are at least open and honest that they continue to exist . Sinn Fein continues with hypocrisy and delusion by denying the ongoing existence of the Provisional IRA and it's participation in paramilitarism and criminality."
Cllr Hutchinson concluded, "This current situation cannot continue, the people of Northern Ireland deserve better. The present system is without legitimacy and credibility and a new all party talks process aimed at creating a comprehensive political agreement is the best way forward."