SDLP nominate justice minister
THE SDLP is the only party to nominate a candidate for the new justice ministry.
The Alliance Party – which is widely tipped to take up the new position scheduled to be devolved on April 12 under the Hillsborough Agreement – did not nominate.
Leader David Ford instead called for progress “towards putting in place a policy on community relations in Northern Ireland”.
“Alliance is not interested in personality politics or ministerial office for the perks. Alliance is ambitious to serve in government to play a constructive role, to make a real difference, and to promote Alliance values and policies,” he said.
However, the South Antrim MLA, who could himself take up the role, did not rule out an Aliance nomination at some point in the future.
Mr Ford added: “Alliance has engaged with the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister since the meeting at Hillsborough last Friday. I am pleased to say that progress has been made both on policies for justice and on community relations.
“We will continue to engage positively and constructively with other parties and the wider community.”
The SDLP have claimed under the the d’Hondt system for selecting ministers, it is they who should obtain the new portfolio. A viewpoint supported by the Ulster Unionists.
Ms Ritchie has previously said she would leave the Executive if Alliance get the justice ministry.
It is believed both the DUP and Sinn Fein withheld their choices at the meeting.
Further discussions are expected prior to a scheduled vote on the matter in the Assembly chamber next month.