Irish Examiner

**Does this tell you who runs the show? Why bother with elections? Just make Blair and Bertie KING and QUEEN (or vice versa)


26 June 2004
By James Lyons

THE North’s Assembly could be facing dissolution if the feuding parties there don’t come to some decision in the coming months, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday.

Setting a September deadline for resolving the peace process, Mr Blair said the "point of decision" had come to see if the problems that led to the suspension of the Stormont Assembly could be resolved.

Mr Blair said the Government's had set aside several days for intensive negotiations with the parties, but said if those failed the search would start for an alternative. He signalled that the alternative could mean dissolution of Stormont.

Mr Blair said the four key issues the end of paramilitary activity, decommissioning, the institutions and policing were well known.

In a further sign of both governments' impatience with the political stalemate, Mr Ahern said parties could not continue with a series of discussions which produced little. "The question is whether we can come to a final understanding on these issues. We can't keep having discussions that do not lead us to ultimate conclusions," he said.

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