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A strong Sinn Féin will not permit DUP veto over change

9 February, 2007

Sinn Féin General Secretary and South Antrim Assembly Candidate, Mitchel McLaughlin has said that following the elections, a strengthened Sinn Féin will hold the DUP to account and ensure that they are not permitted a veto over the right of any community to the process of change.

Mitchel Mc Laughlin said:

"Sinn Féin enters this election determined to further build political strength that we will use to ensure that the change the people of Ireland voted for in 1998 is delivered in full and then built upon.

"The delivery of the progress achieved in the GFA and in negotiations since then is a product of strong leadership from Sinn Féin and other pro-agreement parties. Despite strenuous attempts by not-an-inch unionists Sinn Féin have succeeded in advancing the Equality and all-Ireland agenda. This was achieved despite the mistaken belief of some nationalist politicians that it was not possible to make further progress in areas such as the equality agenda, Irish language rights, demilitarisation and policing. We persevered and made gains in these areas and more.

"We will apply the same determination to holding the DUP to account in regard to its responsibilities to participate in good government for all.

"Our people want locally accountable ministers who will be committed to reversing the growing financial burden imposed on them through bad decisions by British Direct Rule Ministers.

"The DUP refusal to commit itself to participate in a power-sharing Executive has created the conditions in which damaging NIO policies are emerging. Parties, which are prepared to accept the responsibility of Government, must use our collective strength to negotiate a proper peace dividend - to be ring-fenced for projects such as water, sewage and infrastructure.

"Following the elections, Sinn Féin will act in the best interest of the electorate but in the event that the DUP continues to abdicate its responsibility to participate in a power-sharing government we will apply what I believe will be an increased mandate to ensure that the DUP does not stunt or dictate the pace of change. We will hold the DUP to account to ensure delivery of the change that the people desire." ENDS

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