[Sinn Fein]

10th May 2002

Fianna Fáil/PDs hide pact from electorate

Speaking from Sligo where he is canvassing with party colleague Sean MacManus the Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty said that Bertie Ahern's comments urging Fianna Fáil supporters to givve preferences to the PDs, was `confirmation if any where needed that the two parties were indistinguishable in everything but name'. Mr Doherty said:

``Bertie Ahern's remarks urging Fianna Fail supporters to give preferences to the PDs is public confirmation that the two parties are in effect the same entity.

``Their economic policies are indistinguishable, their social policies are indistinguishable and they have jointly failed to distribute the wealth generated by the Celtic Tiger over the last five years.

``The only difference left between the two groups is the name.

``What many people will be angry at however, is the fact that neither Bertie Ahern nor Mary Harney had the political courage to announce what is clearly a long standing electoral pact at the outset of this campaign. They chose instead to insult the intelligence of the electorate by playing out a rather pathetic and transparent charade.''

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