The SDLP have opted for youth in their selection of their candidate to contest the Westminster seat for Mid Ulster.
Malachy Quinn, who was elected last May to the new Mid Ulster Council, will once again be hitting the campaign trail in a bid to win the seat currently held by Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy.
In the 2013 Mid Ulster by-election, the SDLP recieved 6,478 votes for their candidate Patsy McGlone, an increase of over three per cent from the previous election.
In his first statement, after selection, Mr Quinn said Mid Ulster was ‘one community’ which deserved to be represented in Westminster .
“I am delighted to have received my party’s nomination to stand for MP of Mid Ulster,” said Mr Quinn.
“While other political parties are happy to talk “us and them” playing to the same old failed sectarian politics of the past, I believe Mid-Ulster deserves better.
“We are not two communities in Mid-Ulster we are one. We are diverse yes, we have many different views but we are one community and that community deserves representation at all levels, and I intend to offer that representation.
“It is in the spirit of agreement that I want to give voice to all people of this region, and represent their needs which for years have been sorely neglected by our abstentionist representatives more interested in dividing the community than uniting it.
“The people of Coalisland, Cookstown, Magherafelt and beyond have had enough of political grandstanding.
“They want job opportunities, investment in roads and infrastructure, increased healthcare provision and a strong voice to defend the rights of our farmers.
“It is to these people that I say that it is time we had a voice in Westminster.”
Meanwhile, UKIP have also selected a candidate to contest the Mid Ulster seat.
Alan Day from Coagh, who also stood unsuccessfully for election to the Mid Ulster council last year, will bid to gain from what he believes is a growing dissatisfaction with the ‘old parties’ of Norther Ireland who he says have not delivered.