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Alliance has most inclusive representation

May 4, 2005 12:00 AM

Yvonne Boyle, Alliance Westminster Candidate for East Londonderry and Party Vice Chair, has welcomed the Party's top percentage of women candidates in the Westminster Election.

She said: "I am pleased that five of our 12 Westminster candidates are female, i.e. over 40% -- a figure that no other local party can match. Our candidates are Cllr Naomi Long, MLA, Belfast East; Cllr Geraldine Rice, Belfast South; Jayne Dunlop, North Antrim; Marjorie Hawkins, Belfast North; and myself, Yvonne Boyle, in East Londonderry.

"In addition, 17 of our 48 Council candidates are female, which is 35%. The diversity of our candidates is further strengthened by three new young women standing as Local Council Candidates -- Lorna Dunn, Down Rownallane; Judith Cochrane, Castlereagh East; and Elenea Aceves-Cull, Larne Town.

"We have achieved this not by positive discrimination, but by being genuinely open to all.

"I am proud to have worked with Eileen Bell, MLA, Alliance Party Deputy Leader for 20 years and witnessed her contribution to an integrated shared

future and her promotion of Alliance Women's Network.

"This diversity extends to the background of our candidates -- Protestant, Catholic, non-Christian, British, Irish, even American and Spanish. Only

Alliance offers a true reflection of Northern Ireland society.

"The DUP and Sinn Fein cannot destroy the centre ground of politics here where people have moved beyond past baggage, but we will continue to build up relationships and confidence among throughout the community based on empowerment and human rights.

ENDS

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