[Sinn Fein]

21 June 2001

UUP Challenge to Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone Westminster success - `a case of sour grapes'

Sinn Fein Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has described the decision of James Cooper to contest the Westminster election result as `a case of sour grapes'. Ms. Gildernew said:

``The decision of James Cooper to challenge the Westminster election result in Fermanagh South Tyrone is a case of sour grapes.  It demonstrates that he is unable and unwilling to accept the democratic will of the electorate.

``The challenge is  irrelevant and I have no doubt that whatever the outcome of the UUPs challenge that I will remain the elected MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone.

``The UUP is clearly clutching at straws and they should think long and hard before rejecting democracy in such a fundamental way.  Just because the UUP is unhappy with the outcome of the process does not mean that they should seek to overturn democracy in action.  Unionists have to wake up to the fact that the political landscape, not just in Fermanagh South Tyrone, but throughout the north of Ireland has changed.

``James Cooper's election campaign was the only one in Fermanagh South Tyrone to end up before the courts where it was proven that the UUP had access to postal vote application forms ahead of any other political party in the constituency.''

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