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Voters warned of risk of apathy

Voters have been warned of the risks of apathy as Stormont's main parties made their final pitches for support ahead of the Assembly poll.

Amid fears of a low turn-out after a campaign that has arguably failed to capture public interest, unionist and nationalist party leaders stressed the importance of voting on Thursday.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said other people around the world were still denied real democracy.

"I think it is hugely important when you consider what's happening in the Arab states at this time when people are going out campaigning - as they have in other states throughout the ages - campaigning for democratic rights so it is really, really, really important that people use their vote. There's no use complaining about it afterwards."

Canvassing in east Belfast with candidate Niall O Donnghaile, the Louth TD said he was confident the electorate would turn out in numbers.

"We are getting a very positive response. We are very, very hopeful that people will come out," he said.

Earlier, DUP leader Peter Robinson said people could send a clear message to terrorists by casting a vote for peace in the election.

Campaigning in Dundonald, he said the electorate could demonstrate its commitment to democracy by turning out to polling stations.

"People have the choice of whether they stay silent on this conflict between terrorism and democracy or whether they come and clearly take the side of the democrats and use their vote to show they are not prepared to go back to the days of conflict and violence," he said.

"So we urge people, whoever they might vote for, to come out and use their vote but obviously we would urge them to vote for the Democratic Unionist Party."

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph