Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Election date must be starting point for progress

5 September, 2003

Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has said that a definitive date for elections must be the starting point for progress.

Ms Gildernew said:

"This weekend the focus is on the continuing tensions within the Ulster Unionist Party. The UUC appears to be the only issue that the British government, in particular, is treating with any urgency. Yet there is no sense of urgency around the stagnation of the peace process and Good Friday Agreement.

"All it appears that the British government are intent on doing is undermining the integrity of the Agreement by stepping outside its‚ terms to meet the needs of factions within unionism.

"The British government must stop pandering to Unionism. The rights and entitlements of citizens cannot be held to ransom because Unionists refuse to accept change.

"Also, and crucially, Mr. Blair must set a firm date for the elections - without qualification or precondition. The fundamental right to vote cannot be withheld. It is a basic democratic right. A date for the elections will create a new political context, injecting a much needed dynamic back into a process that is stagnating." ENDS

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