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Nationalists disappointed at SDLP position on election

10 March, 2004

Sinn Féin National EU Director of Elections Pat Doherty MP has said that nationalists will be 'greatly disappointed' by the rejection by SDLP Deputy Leader Alasdair McDonnell of a Sinn Féin proposal for the parties to meet and discuss a strategy to deliver two nationalist seats in Europe after the six county EU Election.

Mr Doherty said:

"Republicans and nationalists want a strong voice in the Europe to stand up for their rights and entitlements. As the lead party on the nationalist side I believe that it is our responsibility to explore all of the possibilities to strengthen further the nationalist and republican position.

"It was with this in mind that I suggested meeting with the SDLP to explore the possibility of developing a strategy to elect both Bairbre de Brún and Martin Morgan. I believe that this is achievable through maximising the nationalist vote and through disciplined vote management.

" The speedy rejection of this approach by the SDLP Deputy Leader Alasdair McDonnell is extremely disappointing and I believe that the vast majority of nationalists will share this disappointment.

"However Sinn Féin will continue to campaign in a positive way. We will continue to seek to build alliances and develop strategies to advance the republican and the nationalist position. We will not be deterred from this by negative campaigning by establishment parties north or south." ENDS

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