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Courageous Nesbitt deserves our praise

Alex Kane (Comment, February 14) is entirely wrong to castigate Mike Nesbitt's intention to give his second-preference vote to his local SDLP candidate, because he underestimates the difficulties for any grouping to form a workable power-sharing government after the election.

Mr Kane is correct to suggest that it will take time for moderate unionists and nationalists to contemplate transferring their second, or third-preference votes to each other's party for reasons of stability and building a brighter, more inclusive, future.

However, if the post-election talks result in stalemate and a further election is called, it will create a better opportunity to secure a more progressive and moderate cross-community alliance in government. Mr Nesbitt should, therefore, be commended for his stance.

The SDLP and UUP should now go further by ruling out any power-sharing agreement with either of the two incumbent parties.

BRIAN C

Upper Bann

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