Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-
“Having championed the cause of Opposition for years, I am delighted by the population explosion on the opposition benches – though the SF/DUP pretence that they are not cozy partners in government causes them to block proper seating arrangements. They want to maintain for the gullible the optics of sitting on opposite sides of the House, but anyone with a brain knows it’s ‘Marlene’ that occupies OFMDFM.
“Good as it is to see an Official Opposition it must be properly resourced to face the SPAD and Civil Service backup of the Executive.
“A huge part of the rationale for having an Opposition is to provide an alternative government at the next election. To realise this potential UUP and SDLP need to face the reality that such is only possible if the next logical step is taken, namely the end of mandatory coalition and its replacement with the democratic norm of voluntary coalition. Otherwise, even if the UUP and SDLP won most seats, DUP and Sinn Fein could still cling to executive seats under mandatory coalition.
“Thus, I am calling on parties serious about obtaining good government to move to address the roadblock that is mandatory coalition.”