14 April 1997
Sinn Fein launches Westminster campaign
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and senior party leaders, Martin McGuinness, Pat Doherty, Gerry Kelly, Bernadette O'Hagan, Sue Ramsey, Chrissie McAuley and Mitchel McLaughlin this morning formally launched the party's three week intensive election campaign. Sinn Fein will be standing in 17 Constituencies.
Mr. Adams said:
``Sinn Fein goes into this election determined to maximise the nationalist and republican vote. Many nationalists are disappointed at the SDLP's rejection of an electoral pact with Sinn Fein. There are up to 8 winnable nationalist seats and Sinn Fein is prepared even now to meet with the SDLP to agree a pact. Nationalists are asking how can the unionists agree a deal while the SDLP refuse to do so. Last weeks decision by the DUP to pull out of West Tyrone now means that the election contests in Mid Ulster and West Tyrone are between Sinn Fein and the Unionist candidates.
``Ian Paisley and the DUP want to `clobber' Sinn Fein ? There is only one response to that. And that is for the nationalist people of Mid Ulster and West Tyrone to election Martin McGuinness and Pat Doherty.
``This election will take us all into the new millenium. It is, I believe, the most important election in almost 80 years and many hope that it will create a new opportunity for peace. Sinn Fein is putting forward a leadership team which has a proven record of effectiveness. Our message to the electorate is clear: Sinn Fein is for:
- Inclusive peace talks as the only means of resolving this conflict
- Equality for all citizens and an end to discrimination and injustice
- An end to British rule in our country
- A permanent peace settlement based on accommodation and agreement
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