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Statement by Mark Durkan, then Leader of the SDLP, 22 September 2004



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Text: Mark Durkan ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Mark Durkan, then leader of the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP), 22 September 2004

 

"Nationalists know the fundamentals of the Agreement. The SDLP is holding to them. We are engaging as constructively and creatively as we can with the DUP. What we will not do is ditch or dump the Agreementís fundamentals.

The DUP ask us to recognise their mandate. We do so. They have the right under the Agreement to ministers in accordance with their electoral strength. But they are trying to deny the mandates of all the pro-Agreement parties, and the mandate that all the people gave the Agreement.

At our meeting, the DUP offered nothing. They did not consider any of the constructive proposals consistent with the Agreement which we have made throughout the review. They did not move from their position."

Asked about proposals to water down the election of First Minister and Deputy First MInister Mr Durkan stated:

"The joint election of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister is a fundamental part of the Agreement. Scrapping this requirement is really about saving the DUPís face and sparing them the embarrassment of having to vote for a Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister.

The joint election is a fundamental part of the Agreement. Other parties may willing to concede this principle - the SDLP will not."

 


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