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Monday, 12 March, 2001, 14:49 GMT
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the second largest unionist party in Northern Ireland.
It draws its support from the Protestant community and is fiercely opposed to the Good Friday Agreement and any moves towards involving the Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland affairs.
It regards the agreement as nothing short of a threat to Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK.
The DUP campaigned for a "no" vote in the referendum to gauge support for the Good Friday Agreement.
It is engaged in a bitter battle with rival unionist party the Ulster Unionists.
Leader Ian Paisley has accused the UUP of betraying unionism because its leader David Trimble signed the Agreement.
Dr Paisley, who is also the leader of the Free Presbyterian Church, was elected to Westminster in 1970.
At that time he represented the Protestant Unionist Party which was formed in the late 1960s.
In 1971 it was re-created as the Democratic Unionist Party.
The party is vocally and strongly opposed to Sinn Fein's involvement in the new power-sharing executive.
However there are two DUP ministers on the executive.
They took their seats to prevent them being given to other parties and do not attend cabinet meetings. The seats are currently being rotated through other DUP members as a rolling protest.
The DUP holds 21 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly - including one held by Roger Hutchinson who defected to the party from the Northern Ireland Unionist Party in November 2000.
The party is defending the Westminster seats held by Mr Paisley in north Antrim, Peter Robinson in east Belfast, and William McCrea in south Antrim.
It is also hoping to do well in the marginal seats of North Belfast and the Ulster Unionist-held seats of east Londonderry and Strangford.
But it has announced it will not contest seats held by anti-Agreement MPs.
'Turn the tide'
Announcing the election strategy in January, deputy leader Mr Robinson said unionists wanted politicians who would "stand up to IRA/Sinn Fein threats".
"This is what the oncoming election will be about.
"Unionists will choose whether they want to endorse and extend David Trimble's contract to deliver concessions to republicans or support those who want to turn the tide."
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