[Sinn Fein]

3rd June 1999

Establish Shadow Executive Now - McLaughlin

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin commenting on todays article by UUP leader David Trimble.

``The UUP have all but strangled the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement. They must not be allowed to destroy its promise. Their refusal to apply the letter of the Agreement has prevented progress for more than a year. The resulting vacuum is being filled by a loyalist bombing and arson campaign which has killed six people, and driven scores of families from their homes. For Mr. Trimble this warrants a single short sentence in his article while dealing at length with his sterile position in regard to the guns that are silent.

``Mr. Trimble continues to attempt to rewrite the Good Friday Agreement in his own terms and on the basis of the Hillsborough draft, which everyone else has now abandoned. He is also demanding that the two governments, the SDLP, all of the other parties to the Agreement and General de Chastelain do likewise.

``The UUP's agenda clearly remains one of pre-condition, exclusion, prevarication, stalling and the rewriting of the Good Friday Agreement. This agenda is being driven by the No camp within the UUP. It is time David Trimble let them know that it is the demand of the 80%+ of the people who voted for the Agreement which will prevail.

``Gerry Adams will meet David Trimble tomorrow morning. The Sinn Fein leader will seek to persuade Mr. Trimble tto honour the commitments he made in the Good Friday Agreement before the EU election next week. This would provide all of the pro-Agreement parties with positive achievements and progress to present to the electorate.

``The initiative for progress rests primarily with the British government. It is for Tony Blair to ensure that the transfer of powers happens by 30 Jume.''

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