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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Paisley predicts 'UUP wipeout'
Paisley predicts his party will take more seats
The DUP leader, Ian Paisley, has predicted an electoral wipeout of the Ulster Unionist Party in the general election.

He said it was clear that Mr Trimble's days had been numbered for some time.

"What he is just counting is the time to the electric chair and the rope," he said.

Launching the DUP's election bus at the gates of Stormont, Mr Paisley said it was unclear who would replace Mr Trimble at the UUP controls.

"If nobody is elected to Westminster, then you will see the biggest fight of all among their assembly members," he predicted.

Mr Paisley said it was very realistic that the UUP would have no MPs returned.

He also insisted that the 5 May poll would be a day of reckoning for the peace process.

"The people of Northern Ireland are going to give their decision and it will be a very strong decision in favour of the DUP.

"For the first time I believe we are coming from the realm of the stupidity of saying that there is a peace process and into the reality that there is no peace process and we must have a proper peace process founded on one foundation only and that is democracy.

"All this talk that we are eventually going to sit on the other side of the table with Sinn Fein/IRA is nonsense.

"They have put themselves out. They haven't changed."

The SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, said Mr Paisley's remarks on the "electric chair and rope" were unnacceptable.

"Ian Paisley's comments today are disgusting and disgraceful.

"It is appalling that any person would speak in this way - never mind the leader of a political party."

He added: "It is clear that the only real antidote to this sort of DUP poison is a strong SDLP mandate.

David Trimble declined to be interviewed about the remarks but did say: "It's obvious that some of the writers at DUP headquarters have lurid imaginations."





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