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SDLP leader challenged to go to Fermanagh

14 April, 2010


Speaking today in the Moy, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew said that there was ‘anger, dismay and disappointment’ at the decision of the SDLP to reject Sinn Féin attempts to maximise nationalist representation. She called on the SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie to come to Fermanagh and explain to the nationalist community why she has rejected this initiative.

Ms Gildernew said:

“Sinn Féin made a genuine initiative to try and ensure that nationalists in both Fermanagh South Tyrone and South Belfast retain their representation. We offered to stand aside in South Belfast in return for the SDLP doing the same in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

“This initiative came in direct response from demands of the voters on the doorsteps. Last night while on the canvass I have to say that I was met with a mixture of anger, dismay and disappointment at the decision of the SDLP to reject this initiative without even the courtesy of a meeting.

“Margaret Ritchie now needs to come to Fermanagh and South Tyrone and explain to the nationalist community why she has rejected this initiative and why she wants to give a leg up to a unionist Tory. Sinn Féin have a meeting organised tomorrow night in Enniskillen, she is more than welcome to attend and explain her failure to lead directly to the people.

“We will continue to fight for every vote. We will continue to put forward our vision for Irish unity and stand on our record of effective representation here and elsewhere. This will be a close election. Every nationalist vote will count. A vote for the SDLP in Fermanagh and South Tyrone is a wasted vote.” ENDS

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