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27 March 1997 Edition

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Vital election launch

Sinn Féin launched its panel of 16 candidates for May's Westminster elections at Belfast's Conway Mill on Monday 24 March with party President and West Belfast candidate Gerry Adams saying a vote for Sinn Fein ``will see the nationalist community get the best value for their vote, and will make an important contribution to the search for peace in Ireland''.

Adams declared that this election is an opportunity to rebuild the peace process, with Sinn Fein presenting the electorate with a strong team for negotiations, and a leadership team with the proven commitment to peace and to inclusive negotiations.

``Our party is entering this election in a confident frame of mind. We offer nationalists the only credible alternative to the Unionist parties which have misrepresented them for too long.''

Adams pledged nothing would deflect himself and John Hume from working to restoring the peace process. ``Sinn Fein is totally commited to peaceful and democratic methods of resolving this conflict,'' said Adams, before acknowledging his own support for electoral pacts, which ``would change the face of electoral politics in the Six Counties forever.''

``A strong vote for Sinn Fein will send a message to the British government that inclusive dialogue, with no double standards, is the only way to move forward. We stand in this election on our record of positive and honest engagement in the search for peace, and on our record of effectively representing the electorate.''

``In the interests of peace it is essential a strong Sinn Fein emerges, as the best guarantee for the construction of a new and credible peace process. This is a defining election, in terms of how this island moves forward into the next millenium. We want to see the people of this island moving forward in unity, in harmony, in equality, and in peace together.''
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