[Sinn Fein]

1 October 2001

DUP motion won't prevent change

Sinn Fein Chief Whip Alex Maskey has said that the decision of UUP member Pauline Armitage to sign a DUP motion seeking the exclusion of Sinn Fein from the Executive won't be allowed to prevent change.

Mr. Maskey said:

``The DUP motion is not about the exclusion of Sinn Fein from the Executive, it is about wrecking the Good Friday Agreement. Pauline Armitage and significant elements of the UUP clearly support that objective.

``The refusal of the Ulster Unionist leadership to support the full implementation of the Agreement has energised opponents of the Agreement to seek it's renegotiation and energised opponents of the peace process to seek it's collapse.

``In part this is being played out on the streets of North Belfast, Larne and Coleraine.

``At another level the strategy of perpetuating instability, employed by the UUP in respect of the institutions, which are the bedrock of political change on many fronts, has fed right into the agenda of these elements within Unionism. Today's developments are the outworking of that.

``The DUP motion represents the failed politics of the past which are about excluding nationalists and republicans from institutions of all sorts and from positions of equality.

``Sinn Fein will not be knocked off course by the attempts of rejectionists within unionism to obstruct the required changes in society.''

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