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TUV leader Jim Allister has accused the Northern Ireland Executive of being the most "wretched, useless government anywhere in the western world". 

Mr Allister told delegates at its annual conference policing and justice would have already been devolved if it wasn't for the TUV's opposition. 

He said DUP leader Peter Robinson was "clinging to a sinking ship". 

He pledged to give a voice to unionists who want to move towards voluntary coalition and an opposition role. 

Mr Allister, a former DUP member, formed the party in 2007 based on opposition to power-sharing with Sinn Fein. 

He hit out at what he called "the evil of mandatory coalition", the system set out by the Good Friday Agreement whereby any power-sharing executive must include all the major parties with both unionists and nationalists holding vetoes. 

"TUV is certainly opposed to terrorists in government, but as we've often said we are not opposed to shared government through the democratic route of voluntary coalition," he said. 

"After every election, those who can agree a platform and collectively command the requisite majority in the Assembly form the government. 

"Those who cannot, form the opposition, challenging and affording voters an alternative at the next election." 

He added: "Guarantee entry to government by right, rather than by merit and don't be surprised when you inevitably get bad government." 

A former MEP, Mr Alister lost his seat to the DUP's Diane Dodds in the June European election, but put a significant dent in the DUP's vote.

 

Source: BBC NEWS (7.11.2009)


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