ADAMS SEEKS ONE MONTH REVIEW
Next month's review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement must be
limited to one month, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said
The Irish and British governments have said they hope that
all-party discussions in the New Year will revive the stalled
northern peace process and local devolved government at
However, Ian Paisley continues to refuse to share power with
Sinn Fein -- or even engage in direct dialogue with the party.
Paisley's DUP became the largest unionist party in elections
No timetable for the talks has been announced, but Mr Adams
has called for them to be limited to four weeks followed by
prompt publication of the review's conclusions.
The DUP's Sammy Wilson claimed last week that his party was
working hard to find a new form of self-government for the
North of Ireland that would be supported by nationalists.
Wilson was responding to allegations that the party was
dragging its feet ahead of the review.
The Sinn Fein leader said all political parties should be
invited to take part as well, along with business, civic,
church, equality, human rights and trade union
This process was, he said, about a review of the operation and
delivery of the Agreement. While his party welcomed the
assertion by both governments that it would not be a review of
the fundamentals, it was concerned other parties may seek
Mr Adams said: "There is an onus on both governments to make
it clear that this will not happen or that anti-Agreement
parties will not be allowed to use the review for their own
"The review is not a substitute for working political
He said it was disappointing and unfortunate that parties were
considering their approach to the review in the context of a
continuing suspension of the political institutions which
could only serve to encourage those who persist with a
negative agenda and seek to veto the Agreement's
He added: "The suspension is itself a breach of the Agreement
and undermines substantially any assertion by the governments
that its fundamentals are not up for renegotiation. The
suspension of the Assembly should be lifted immediately."
DONALDSON SET FOR DUP
Meanwhile, Anti-Agreement unionist Jeffrey Donaldson appears
ready to announce that he is to join Ian Paisley's Democratic
Unionist Party and has urged former colleagues to abandon
David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party.
Donaldson is likely take at least two other UUP assembly
members with him, giving the DUP a large majority and posing
further problems for the peace process. If joined by four UUP
defectors, the DUP along with hardliner Bob McCartney could
secure a blocking majority of 36 seats in the Assembly --
equivalent to 60% of unionist members -- presenting a
seemingly insurmountable obstacle for the troubled political
Donaldson has refused to confirm his plans but said unionists
need to unite around one party "because it is the only way to
stop Sinn Fein dominating Ulster politics. That is a major
factor with me.
"My own view is that the UUP is no longer capable of being the
party behind which unionism can unite."
Donaldson recently resigned from the UUP along with fellow
Assembly members Arlene Foster and Nora Beare. This week their
supporters are reported to be persuading constituency
associations to switch to the DUP alongside their elected
There has also been speculation that the DUP may decide to run
Donaldson alongside Ian Paisley in the European elections in
June in a bid to win a seat from the UUP's Jim Nicholson.
However, on the nationalist side, the SDLP's John Hume and
Sinn Fein's Bairbre de Brun could capitalise on a split
unionist vote to win a second nationaliust European seat for
the Six Counties.
The DUP leader, Ian Paisley has said that if Ulster Unionist
leader David Trimble "has any sense" he would resign.
Earlier this week Mr Trimble made it clear that he intends to
remain as leader of the UUP and has no intention of deserting
But Mr Paisley said: "There is not one voice to defend him.
There is not one voice out in the open fighting for him. There
has been complete silence from his best praisers in the past.
"If Mr Trimble has any sense, looking at the demise of many
Official Unionist leaders, he should get out while the going