Plaid Cymru-led coalition could seek a new Welsh language act

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu May 24 13:40:40 UTC 2007

AM predicts new coalition policy

A Plaid Cymru-led coalition could scrap hospital re-organisation plans
and seek a new Welsh language act, Conservative AM Alun Cairns has
told BBC Wales.
A Plaid, Lib Dem and Tory coalition is possible after Plaid suspended
talks with Labour on Tuesday. The three parties are continuing talks
which could leave Labour in opposition. Mr Cairns said a coalition
agreement may also strive to introduce proportional representation to
council elections in Wales.

Outlining the three most likely policy changes, Mr Cairns, who is his
party's Welsh economic development spokesman, said: "Hospital
reorganisation has been common to the manifestos from each of the
parties. "Clearly, with this as a priority before the election, we
would expect it to be a priority after the election.  "A review of the
Welsh Language Act has been another priority for each of the three
parties," he added.
"That being the case, I think it's fair to assume that that would be included."

Mr Cairns said the coalition could introduce proportional
representation, via the Single Transferable Vote system. "I think that
the Liberal Democrats have been determined with that from the outset
and I think that that would be a policy change that we could expect,
obviously subject to the law and I think it's possible that
Westminster needs to act for that."

Suspend talks

Labour is five seats short of an overall majority in the Welsh
assembly and had hoped Plaid would agree to help it stay in power. But
on Tuesday, Plaid's decision to suspend talks with Labour came after
several hours of party talks. Explaining the move, Plaid leader Ieuan
Wyn Jones said there was a better prospect of getting an agreement
with the Tories and the Lib Dems. If the agreed programme gets passed
in crucial meetings of each of the Welsh parties over the next few
days, it would see Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones elected as the new
First Minister for Wales at a special session of the Welsh assembly
next week.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/05/23 11:34:48 GMT


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