Sinn Féin to vote on possibility of becoming coalition partner

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin are to vote on the possibility of entering government as a junior coalition partner with either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael after the next general election.

Party members are gathering in Dublin’s RDS from today for their Ard Fheis where motions on the Eight Amendment, healthcare, climate change, and the possibility of Sinn Fein entering government will all be debated and voted upon.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ speech will be televised tomorrow night and he is expected to indicate in the speech when he will step down from his position .

During the party’s think-in last September Mr Adams said the Sinn Féin were finalising a 10-year plan and the intention was to unveil this during the Ard Fheis.

A motion set down by the party Ard Chomhairle outlines the possibility of going into a coalition after any general election here, marking a significant policy shift .

The motion recognises the “significant electoral and political progress made by Sinn Féin in recent years” and goes on to note the “commitment and ambition to implement Sinn Féin polices in government, North and South”.

It outlines the plan to work towards becoming the largest party across the island of Ireland but leaves open the possibility of doing a deal with other parties in order to enter government here.

“This Ard Fheis reaffirms that any decision regarding Sinn Féin’s entry into a coalition government in the 26 Counties will be made by a Special Ard Fheis, convened for that purpose, and will be based on the party’s ability to secure a progressive, Republican programme for government,” the motion to be voted on tonight states.

Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis clár earlier this week, party finance spokesman Pearse Doherty confirmed that this could provide the opportunity to become a junior partner in any future government

A separate motion, which will be debated tomorrow, asks that Sinn Féin members be allowed to articulate and vote on the issue of abortion according to their conscience.

Sinn Féin are currently campaigning as a party for repeal of the Eight Amendment.

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