5th July 1999
Exclusion not an option - Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, writing in an article published in this morning's Irish News and Irish Times, spells out in detail Sinn Fein's attitude to suggestions that the Party can be excluded from the political institutions should the IRA not decommission.There are no circumstances short of breaching the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in which Sinn Fein can be expelled.
Mr Adams said:
``Mr Trimble is now insisting on an exclusion clause in the legislation promised by the British Government to underpin the fail-safe clause of last weeks joint statement by the Irish and British Governments. He wants to see exclusion of Sinn Fein. But under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement this is not possible.
There is no question of the British Government introducing legislation to expel Sinn Fein. Mr Blair knows this would be a breach of the Good Friday Agreement.
He also knows that there can be no renegotiating of the Agreement or of the propositions put forward by the two governments on Friday last. The Good Friday Agreement review section is crystal clear.
There is no requirement for legislation at all beyond that already in place and any British legislation has to be based on this review section. Mr Trimble knows this also. He also knows that Sinn Fein is serious when we say we want this process to succeed.
He can no longer delay the attainment of the full rights and entitlements for that section of our people who have been denied these rights and entitlements for so long. Not if he is really committed to the Good Friday Agreement...........''
The Sinn Fein President concludes:
``The two governments, also, and in particular the British government, have a major responsibility in securing a satisfactory outcome to the issue of arms. Historically, the British government has been a hugely negative factor in the development of the conditions of conflict in Ireland. The conflict arises from the British government involvement in Irish affairs. It was the British government which brought the gun into Irish politics. They must now play a central role in the creation of a future on this island in which a gun has no place. This is the challenge which all of us in positions of political leadership face. I firmly believe that it is a challenge we can meet.
For Sinn Fein's part, I reiterate our total commitment to doing everything in our power to maintain the peace process and to removing the gun forever from the politics of our country and, through our participation in all of the new institutions, to create a society in which there is a total respect for Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.
The initiative in the process to establish the new institutions rests with the British government.
Mr Blair has said the D'Hondt procedure to nominate ministers will run on July 15th. The transfer of power will take effect on July 18th. This is not the first time that the British government has set a deadline. But this time the deadline must be kept. The UUP cannot forever delay and prevaricate. The institutions must be established.
The choice for the British government and the UUP is simple. The unionist veto or the Good Friday Agreement is implemented.''
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