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29 November 2003

Hardline victors reject Good Friday agreement

Ian Paisley's DUP was victorious in the latest round of elections in Northern Ireland. What does this mean for the future of devolved government in Northern Ireland? Well, the results were: DUP - 28 (seats); UUP - 25; Sinn Fein - 24; SDLP - 18.
The DUP wants a full renegotiation of the 1998 peace accord, claiming the election proves it has now been rejected.
On Thursday, Mr Paisley grabbed a reporter by the lapels and shouted: "No, I'm not talking to Sinn Féin and the party's not talking to Sinn Féin."
Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin president, said in a direct appeal to Mr Paisley: "I am not a Christian clergyman. I am not the leader of a church but I do not know of any Christian philosophy which is not about dialogue."

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