Date: Fri, 29 Mar 1996 05:52:48 -0600
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>>> Item number 9467, dated 96/03/27 21:21:37—ALL
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 21:21:37 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Arm The Spirit <>
Subject: Irish Republican Information Service Bulletin #143

From: (saoirse-irish freedom)
Date: March 25, 1996

Election plan gives Unionists their assembly

Irish Republican Information Sergice Bulletin, #143, 25 March 1996

JOHN Major announced in Westminster on March 21 last that an election in the Six Counties would be held on May 30 next, to be run under a hybrid list and constituency system, in order to set up the forum, long demanded by the unionists.

The plan was criticised by most establishment politicians as a mish-mash but only Republican Sinn Fein unequivocally called for nationally-minded people in the Six Counties to boycott the elections and the New Stormont which it is designed to set. The SDLP and the Provisionals appear set to contest the poll, with the latter effectively ruling out a boycott at their March 23-25 ard-fheis and seeking a meeting with the SDLP to discuss the election.

In a statement on March 21 Ruairi O Bradaigh, President of Republican Sinn Fein, said: Republican Sinn Fein rejects today's British Government plan for the Six Occupied Counties. The provision for a ‘forum’ is simply a New Stormont in embryo form.

True Republicans can not even contest the elections on May 30 as abstentionists because the British Government has imposed since 1988 a political test oath on all candidates at nomination. They must subscribe to a solemn declaration publicly rejecting the Republican Movement and denying the right to engage in acts of resistance to British rule in Ireland.

We call on nationally-minded people to boycott the New Stormont and to boycott the elections to it. It simply provides for a return to old-style Unionist ascendancy under British Government sponsorship.

In his speech in the British House of Commons on March 21 John Major also reinstated the demand for parallel decommissioning of arms by the Provisionals during the talks process, due to commence on June 10. The elective process was handing the unionists an assembly on a plate according to Sunday Business Post political editor Emily O'Reilly (March 24), which will be hard to dismantle once it is set up. It is significant also that the life of the forum/assembly can be extended at the whim of the British Secretary of State, Patrick Mayhew. With the securing of this forum as part of the elective process there is no doubt that a crucial objective has been secured by the unionists whicn will develop a dynamic and momentum of its own.