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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
SF, DUP will share power: Durkan
Mark Durkan
Mark Durkan believes Sinn Fein and DUP will eventually share power
SDLP leader Mark Durkan has said he believes the DUP will eventually share power with Sinn Fein.

Mr Durkan dismissed remarks by DUP leader Ian Paisley at a Twelfth demonstration that Sinn Fein would be in government "over our dead bodies".

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics, the SDLP leader said self-interest would drive the two parties toward government.

He said Sinn Fein and the DUP both had a "passion for power".

"Both of these parties are parties who have a passion and an instinct for power, albeit from the wrong reasons," Mr Durkan said.

"But I can see them sharing power.

"What I am concerned about though is I want to see them sharing power with the rest of us in a proper accountable way as provided for by the Good Friday Agreement."


On Wednesday, Mr Paisley warned: "No unionist who is a unionist will go into partnership with IRA/Sinn Fein.

"They are not fit to be in partnership with decent people. They are not fit to be in the government of Northern Ireland and it will be over our dead bodies if they ever get there."

In response, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said no-one should be surprised at the remarks, which he said were more of a challenge to the British government than to his own party.

Premiers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern have warned Northern Ireland's politicians that failure to meet the 24 November deadline to restore devolution would put the assembly in cold storage.

The assembly is on summer recess until 4 September, although the Preparation for Government Committee is continuing to meet.

In May, assembly members took their seats at Stormont for the first time since October 2002, when devolved government was suspended over allegations of a republican spy ring. The court case that followed collapsed.

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and has been in place since.

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