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|Thursday, April 12, 2001, updated at 14:09(GMT+8)|
Sinn Fein Delivers Warning on N.Ireland PeaceThe IRA's political ally Sinn Fein expressed concern Thursday that a widely tipped British general election on June 7 could put hard-line Protestants in a position to wreck the Northern Ireland peace process.
Hard-line Protestants, who oppose the British province's 1998 Good Friday peace accord, could gain the upper hand over moderates in the election, Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin told the Guardian newspaper in an interview.
He said the accord must be "reconfigured" to ensure its survival.
David Trimble's Ulster Unionists are the main Protestant party in the province and hold the most number of Northern Ireland seats in the British parliament, but he faces a tough challenge from hard-liners in the election. Even now he has only a narrow majority in his own party backing the peace process.
The peace process has been bogged down for months by disputes between Protestant and Catholic politicians over guerrilla disarmament, policing and Britain's military presence in the province.
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