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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 08:32 GMT
DUP opts for Allister
Jim Allister
Jim Allister: Confident he would top poll
The Democratic Unionist Party has selected Jim Allister as its candidate to stand in the election to the European parliament.

The party's executive chose the barrister as its candidate to stand in the June poll on Tuesday after DUP leader Ian Paisley announced last month he would not seek re-election as MEP.

A former DUP Westminster candidate, Mr Allister withdrew from the political scene in 1987 after the party chose not to contest East Antrim.

The move was part of a wider unionist pact aimed at overturning the Anglo Irish Agreement.

Mr Allister saw off the challenge of Newry and Armagh assembly member Paul Berry; Mid-Ulster assembly member William McCrea, and party chairman Maurice Morrow.

FOUR CANDIDATES
Jim Allister
Paul Berry
William McCrea
Maurice Morrow

He said he was confident that he would top the poll in June.

"There is no doubt there are some who vainly hope that there may be some sort of setback that will enable them to resuscitate the Belfast Agreement," he said.

"That is not going to happen.

"The DUP is going to win this election, win it handsomely, and apply the extra pressure that that gives us in further mandate to secure the fair deal that we have promised to the people of Northern Ireland."

Dr Paisley has held his seat in Europe since its inception in 1979.

The 77-year-old said he wanted to devote more time to leading his party's negotiating team in the current review of the Good Friday Agreement.

He had topped the poll at each election for the Northern Ireland constituency's three seats.




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SEE ALSO:
Paisley to stand down as MEP
19 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
Profile: Ian Paisley
30 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland



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