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DUP not serious about restoring political institutions

5 June, 2006

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has accused the DUP of continuing to block progress following the first meeting of the 'preparation for government' committee today.

Martin McGuinness MP MLA, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA and Conor Murphy MP MLA led the Sinn Féin team.

Speaking after the meeting Mr McGuinness said:

"The DUP are not serious about re-establishing the institutions. That was clear from the composition of the delegation they sent along to today's meeting.

"While there was agreement among all of the other political parties at the committee today the DUP's only contribution was to frustrate the first item of business, namely the arrangements for chairing the meetings.

Commenting on the DUP call for an extension to the November 24th deadline Mr McGuinness said:

"This is ridiculous. The DUP won't make a serious effort to engage in the preparation for government committee. Peter Hain needs to make it clear that if the DUP are unwilling to engage then he is prepared to call time on the Assembly.

"The DUP appear content to have debates in the Hain Assembly that will have no impact on policy. Instead of getting on with the business of the Assembly and setting up the Executive the DUP appear happy to let British direct rule ministers remain in charge and continue with policies on rates increases, water charges, industrial de-rating and rural planning that are hugely damaging.

"While the DUP run away from responsibility they have no credibility in complaining about direct rule. Participation in these sham debates merely provides a fig leaf for DUP attempt to create a shadow Assembly." ENDS

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