[Sinn Fein]

25 April 1997

Sinn Fein Pact with the Electorate

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty speaking this morning at the launch of the party's Election Manifesto A New Opportunity for Peace spelt out Sinn Fein's offer of a pact with the electorate.

Mr. Doherty said:

``Sinn Fein is an Irish Republican Party. Our objective is to end British rule in Ireland. Our primary strategic goal is to build a lasting peace settlement.

``This election offers a new opportunity to rebuild the peace process. Our commitment is to peace talks, inclusive without preconditions and without delays. It is a negotiated peace settlement, achieved through agreement and based on equality.

``Sinn Fein stands on our record:

``Sinn Fein is the party which produced a peace strategy.

``Sinn Fein is the party which pro-actively entered into dialogue with our political opponents.

``Sinn Fein is the party which identified inclusive dialogue as central to any peace process.

``Sinn Fein is the party which took risks for peace; which was centrally involved in creating the unprecedented opportunity for peace in 1994 and which has kept every commitment we have made to the electorate.

``We are a party which can be trusted.

``Our comprehensive manifesto covers a wide range of political, social and economic matters. It is a manifesto which looks to the future and which sets out a programme of work to effect real political and constitutional change and builds a permanent peace.

``In this election we offer a pact to the electorate - a pact which commits Sinn Fein to working as hard, and as diligently as we can, to using the new opportunity this election presents for restoring the peace process.

``Our manifesto `A New Opportunity for Peace' spells out how we believe this can be achieved:

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