Iain McAfee the Local Government candidate for Ballymoney Town has described the possibility of Council members stepping down and co-opting replacements as corrupt and has questioned why despite all the commitments from various political parties, three local representatives are standing in the Council and Assembly elections.
On May 5th, Mervyn Storey, Evelyn Robinson of the DUP and Bill Kennedy of the UUP are all standing for a seat on Ballymoney Borough Council as well as MLA’s for the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.
Mr McAfee said: “Firstly people have concerns about the time and commitment that could be afforded to the people of Ballymoney compared to the demands of being an MLA however more importantly there is certainly a strong belief that after a short period of being elected as a Councillor they will step aside and attempt to co-opt another person in their place.
“In my opinion there is something very corrupt about such a policy. I can understand the political strategy behind such a move as the said people have strong personal mandates which would ensure solid representation for their parties, something a newer, less well known candidate would not have. However this is typical party politics and is cheating the electorate as they will not be represented by the person they voted for, in fact it is a clear attempt to protect a party’s political empire’.
“I believe anyone who gets elected as a member of Ballymoney Borough Council should be there by the will of the people and not due to a party strategy to increase their representation.”