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Durkan Accused Of Lacking Political Leadership

8 June, 2004

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has said that comments from the SDLP leader Mark Durkan indicating that he was waiting for a letter from Bertie Ahern before deciding his position regarding the Citizenship Referendum 'demonstrated a complete lack of political leadership'.

Mr McLaughlin campaigning in Mayo in advance of this weeks elections said:

" It is quite unbelievable that three days before the referendum is due to take place Mark Durkan indicates that he is waiting on a comfort letter from Bertie Ahern before he finally makes his mind up on the issue. People have the right to ask just exactly who decides SDLP policy. Is it Bertie Ahern?

" Mark Durkan's remarks demonstrate a lack of political leadership on this matter. Sinn Féin looked at what was being proposed decided on our position and publicly campaigned for a 'No'' vote. The SDLP in contrast have prevaricated and with three days to go have yet to declare their position either way.

" It is a quite remarkable state of affairs that on an issue which flows directly from the Good Friday Agreement and which impacts on people across the island the SDLP is unable to make up its mind and campaign on that position." ENDS

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