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Concern at intimidation in Count Centre

28 November, 2003

Lagan Valley Sinn Féin Representative Paul Butler has criticised the Electoral Office and the PSNI after a crowd of loyalists were allowed to enter the count in Dromore last night.

Mr Butler said:

"Last night a gang of loyalists were permitted to enter the Lagan Valley count in Dromore. I was threatened and abused by the crowd before they left the building. Afterwards they gathered outside the count centre and Sinn Féin election workers were once again threatened.

"I have already raised the matter with the Electoral Commission and I will be contacting the Police Ombudsman in the coming days to complain about the conduct of the PSNI last night.

"I have to say attempts by our party to discuss this with the Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley were not productive. He proved to be less than co-operative which has been a common thread of his approach to this election.

"This sort of interference in the electoral process is completely unacceptable and Sinn Féin will not be letting this matter rest."ENDS

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