[Sinn Fein]

18 June 2001

Maskey selected as Sinn Fein Mayoral candidate for Belfast

Sinn Fein has selected Councillor Alex Maskey as the party candidate for Mayor of Belfast.  Mr. Maskey will be proposed by party colleagues for the position when the council meets on 25th June.  Commenting on the party bid for mayoralty Belfast Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Browne said:

``The election of the city's first ever Sinn Fein mayor is now a democratic imperative for Belfast City Council.  The challenge for all members of the council is to acknowledge and respond positively to the Sinn Fein bid for mayoralty.

``Sinn Fein has been returned for a second consecutive term as the largest party on Belfast City Council.  Despite our substantial mandate we have to this point been systematically blocked from taking the position of mayor.

``Every other party on the council has at one time or another assumed mayoralty.  It is now the turn of Sinn Fein.  Our electorate is entitled to the same rights enjoyed by voters of all the other parties.

``Given the current make up of the council there is no reason why Sinn Fein should be prevented from taking the top position at City Hall.  We are confident that on 25th June Alex Maskey will be elected as the first republican Mayor of Belfast.''

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