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Posters already hoisted for SF

By Noel McAdam

Sinn Fein has already bombarded parts of the Republic with posters proclaiming: "We deliver."

And the party is distributing 200,000 copies of its election newspaper across Dublin alone.

On something of a roll following the historic first meeting between Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley, Sinn Fein has not been waiting for yesterday's formal confirmation of an election date.

Its election strategy is not, however, expected to shift into top gear - with Mr Adams visiting key constituencies - until after devolution day in Northern Ireland a week from tomorrow.

He said by then Sinn Fein would be in government in the North and was ready to be in government in the Republic too.

"Our objective is to be in government north and south and to deliver strong public services and to advance the peace process and preparations for Irish unity," he said.

"We are going into this election in a stronger position than ever before. We are contesting right across the state.

"By the time the election is over, we'll be in government here in the north and we're ready for government in the south, and we're looking a mandate."

Opinion polls show Sinn Fein at around 10%, which could place it in a pivotal balance-of-power situation to negotiate for a place in a coalition government.

The price of its co-operation could be a commitment to an early Government green paper on Irish unity, which has long been a Sinn Fein objective.

Belfast Telegraph


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