[Sinn Fein]

19th May 2003

Call For Governments to set election date

Speaking at a press briefing in Belfast today Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness urged the British and Irish governments to use their engagement tomorrow to set a June date for a new Assembly election.  Mr McGuinness said:

``Can I first say that we have scheduled a meeting, at our request, with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahem for this Saturday. This meeting will focus primarily on the issue of British state sanctioned killing of citizens in the north over a long period.

``Tomorrow we will meet with Richard Haas and Brian Cowen and Paul Murphy will also meet tomorrow. These meetings are important and must focus on the current slate of the political process.

``We are currently in a political vacuum and this process is in deep crisis. The root cause of this is the British government suspension of the political institutions and their subsequent cancellation of the Assembly elections.

``What we want to hear tomorrow is the two governments setting a June election date. There is no rational for any other outcome to their discussions.'' ENDS

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