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DUP demands on unionist rule - unrealistic

5 October, 2004


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin today said that fundamental to the Good Friday Agreement were the checks and balances designed to prevent the sort of abuses we had previously under unionist governments and that these fundamentals were not up for negotiation.

Mr McLaughlin said:

" Sinn Féin have said consistently that we are up for a deal. We want to see the sort of package which will see the institutions restored and the outstanding elements of the Good Friday Agreement implemented.

" But it is obvious to all that such a deal can only happen within the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. The obstacle to this happening at this time is the stance adopted by the DUP.

" On one hand we hear from the two governments that the DUP are not seeking changes to the fundamentals of the Agreement. Peter Robinson appeared to acknowledge this in an interview this morning. However this position is at odds with all of the available evidence. The DUP continue to put unrealistic demands aimed at diminishing the power sharing core of the Assembly and other fundamentals of the Agreement and delivering a return to unionist rule.

" The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement include the broad principles of power sharing, equality, all-Ireland institutions and the checks and balances, the protections, which are central to this. They were designed to prevent the sort of abuses we had previously under unionist governments and which continue to exist in local councils under unionist control These fundamentals are not up for negotiation." ENDS

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