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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Dual elections 'will not happen'
Dermot Ahern
Mr Ahern does not believe a referendum and election will be held at the same time
A referendum on the St Andrews Agreement and an Irish general election will not be held on the same day, the Irish foreign minister has said.

Dermot Ahern told the BBC's Inside Politics the idea was inconceivable.

"If we were having a referendum, it would be inconceivable that we would have a referendum on the same day as we have an election," he said.

NI's parties have been given until 10 November to respond to the proposals made by the governments at St Andrews.

The proposals were published after intensive three-day talks between the parties at St Andrews in Scotland.

If all goes to plan, a first and deputy first minister will be nominated on 24 November and the devolved institutions will be up and running by 26 March.




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