SOUTH Down Sinn Féin Assembly candidate Caitríona Ruane believes the next Assembly must build on the work of the past four years.
She said, “We often hear criticism of politicians, some of it deserved, for not doing enough or for being out of touch with the electorate. Politicians must always strive to do better but politics and the political institutions, though far from perfect, are working and are delivering meaningful change.
“This Assembly election is a testimony to the enormous progress our society has made over the recent past. Sinn Fein’s leading role in the Assembly and Executive has helped achieved stable working government .
“The outgoing Assembly, which ran its full term, achieved much, particularly in consolidating the peace process and the collective determination of the political leadership at Stormont not to be deflected by the shared agenda of republican dissidents and unionist rejectionists bodes well for the future.
“We also achieved the agreed transfer of policing and justice powers away from securocrats in London to a locally accountable Minister and Department.
“Despite the deep global economic crisis, we resisted wholesale Tory cuts to our frontline services – cuts which some local politicians had pledged – but failed – to stop in the Tory dominated Westminster parliament.
“The new Assembly now needs to build on the progress made and Sinn Féin is determined to continue delivering effective, accountable and representative policing; building a justice system that serves the people rather than the British state; reforming and modernising education in defending and improving public services particularly health. Probably the biggest challenge we face is the rebuilding of our economy through the creation of sustainable, properly paid jobs.
“Sinn Fein delivered an honourable peace accord and stable, locally elected government. Sinn Fein has a vision of the future, the strategies and the team to deliver this vision right across this island. A strong Sinn Fein team in the Assembly is the best guarantee of a planned and coherent approach in defending the peace and building a prosperous future,” added Ms Ruane.