Irish Republican News · March 7, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Election: Pre-election statements
Election: Pre-election statements

Election-eve statements by the Presidents of Sinn Fein and Republican Sinn Fein.

UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY FOR RADICAL CHANGE

By Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams

This election will decide if a functioning government will be established. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for political progress. A vote for Sinn Féin is the best guarantee that the DUP will be moved to take up its place in the power-sharing institutions.

As an all-Ireland party, Sinn Féin is fighting two elections at this time - the undeclared one in the south, where this party is an increasingly viable option for voters looking for positive change, and this one in the north.

On the doorsteps there is a clear demand that locally elected politicians face up to our responsibilities. That is also the Sinn Féin position. People want to see the British direct-rule ministers sent home. There is no reason why this should not happen by March 26.

There is an onus on local politicians to deliver on services for the elderly, the vulnerable and disadvantaged. There is a need for an anti-poverty strategy and for first-class health and education services. There is also a duty to oppose the additional water charges and the unfair rates burden being imposed by British direct-rule ministers and the issue of rural planning.

Sinn Féin is making pledges on all these issues. And we have identified 10 commitments for change from our manifesto. We also continue to engage with the two governments to secure a substantial peace dividend. We expect to meet with the British chancellor and Irish finance minster in the coming weeks.

Politics has to be about making a positive difference to people’s lives. We take a strategic view about how to accomplish this.

The recent Sinn Féin ard fheis on policing is proof once again of how Sinn Féin delivers, openly, democratically, in the national interest and in a way that opens up the possibility for more progress.

Another example of how we plan ahead is to be found in our Irish-language manifesto in the last election. In that manifesto - incidentally, Sinn Féin is the only party in this island to publish an Irish-

language manifesto, ‘Ag Cur Gaeilge Ar Ais i mBeal an Phobail’ - we promised to bring forward an Irish Language Act.

We won that commitment last October from the British government at St Andrews. And our focus now is in getting the strongest possible Act as quickly as possible.

On March 7 the voters will have the opportunity to make a judgment on our stewardship of all these issues.

Others make promises - we make commitments - we keep our commitments.

Sinn Féin delivers strong, effective representation in every political forum on this island. We are delivering both locally and nationally. We want to continue this work. We want to confront poverty, sectarianism and racism.

We are seeking a mandate for our manifesto ‘Delivering for Ireland’s Future’ and for our 10 commitments, which range from support for a united

Ireland of equals, through support for indigenous small and medium businesses, through rural regeneration, against privatisation of health services, for a suicide prevention strategy, for protection for the environment, and opposition to globalisation and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the incoming assembly and executive Sinn Féin will deliver further change and build on the gains made to date.

There is an unprecedented opportunity to make politics work, to deliver radical positive social and economic change and to continue the journey to a united Ireland.

VOTE FOR ALL CANDIDATES PLEDGED TO ABSTAIN FROM PUPPET STORMONT

by Ruairi O Bradaigh, President, Republican Sinn Féin

I welcome today’s full-page advertisement in the Irish News (Belfast) from 320 “Irish Republican Ex-POWs Against the RUC/PSNI and MI5”.

Since the Stormont regime insist on styling the six Republican Sinn Féin candidates as Independent Republicans it can be assumed that this call to vote tomorrow includes the Republican Sinn Féin candidates.

The names of our candidate for Mid-Ulster, ex-hunger striker Brendan McLaughlin, and our Patron, 105-year-old Black-and-Tan War Veteran Dan Keating, are included in the listing. As an ex-POW and ex-internee at various stages of the struggle over the past 50 years, I myself call in this Eve of Poll Message on the electorate to vote for all candidates pledged to abstain from the puppet Stormont assembly.

The above-mentioned RUC/PSNI has been active during the campaign in harassing Republican Sinn Féin workers. For the RUC/PSNI nothing has changed only their name, and for us the Cause is still the same and the call remains unchanged: “Vote for a totally New Ireland and an end to British rule here.”

To all Republican Sinn Féin election workers we say: “Congratulations on your exertions to date. Continue to strain every muscle and nerve in a last effort until close of Poll tomorrow, March 7. Our noble objective requires all we can give.”

© 2007 Irish Republican News