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From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list IRL-NEWS Subject: News Uploaded 02/22 1136 CST Date: 22 February 1995 12:44 Information from the mail header Sender: News and Articles From and About Ireland (IRL-NEWS@RUTVM1.rutgers.edu) Poster: "Robert J. Dooling" (WildeRove@AOL.COM) Subject: News Uploaded 02/22 1136 CST News ....... Jay Dooling PA 2/22/95 6:05 AM IMPORTANT EU ROLE FOR CROSS-BORDER BODY PA 2/22/95 6:04 AM IT'S ULSTER'S EVICTION NOTICE, SAYS DUP CHIEF PA 2/22/95 6:02 AM WIDE POWERS PLANNED FOR NEW ULSTER ASSEMBLY PA 2/22/95 5:59 AM CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES ALLOW PEOPLE TO DECIDE ULSTER'S PA 2/22/95 5:14 AM DOCUMENT PROPOSES CHARTER OF RIGHTS ********************************* WIDE POWERS PLANNED FOR NEW ULSTER ASSEMBLY PA 2/22/95 6:02 AM By James Hardy, Political Editor, PA News The Prime Minister today unveiled British plans for a new Northern Ireland Assembly with wide powers and responsibilities. John Major put forward proposals for a Stormont-style chamber said to be based largely on suggestions from the constitutional parties. The new body would be protected by a system of checks and balances to ensure equal treatment of both communities. But it would have no tax-raising powers and no initial control over law and order or the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The Government is proposing: :: A single chamber 90-member assembly. :: Fixed-term elections using proportional representation voting. :: Wide legislative and executive powers. :: A system of committees to oversee the work of Ulster departments. :: A possible separate panel of three elected representatives to monitor the assembly and ensure fair play. The idea would be largely to recreate an assembly along the lines of Stormont, which was disbanded in 1973. But the system of checks and balances would be designed to prevent the alleged abuses of the assembly which caused division and bitterness in the early years of the Troubles. The new assembly would also be responsible for conducting dialogue with the South and sending members to the proposed cross-border authority. Its powers, which could in the distant future include some control over law and order, would probably be phased in rather than introduced all at once. Launching his plan for a Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr Major asked the people of Ulster to "put aside old fears" and to be open to the opportunity that lay before them. For 25 years terrorism and sectarian violence had tested the people's resilience and courage to the utmost, and he hoped they would never have to face that challenge again. He said today he was offering a different kind of challenge, "a challenge of living in peace, of healing divisions, and of sharing responsibilities". For a community which had endured such strain it would be difficult. It would pose acute questions and demand hard decisions. "But it is a challenge of hope and it offers the prize of greater peace and stability than Northern Ireland has ever known." Mr Major said the proposals sought to restore democratic accountability and responsiveness to local needs in a way which met the unique traditions and circumstances of Northern Ireland. The Assembly would have a vital part to play, not only within Northern Ireland but in managing and giving authority to new North-South institutions. He said he was setting no timetable for consultation about either the proposals for an Assembly or the Framework Document. "Both sets of our proposals are now in the public domain and we shall now allow a period for debate and discussion. I hope the people of Northern Ireland will take the time to look closely at our ideas, and will then let us and their elected representatives have their views. "I am not setting a timetable for public consultation. When there has been time for opinions to crystalise, to mature, we shall invite the political parties to consultations. We shall decide with them the best way of moving forward." Mr Major made it clear the Assembly would only be set up as part of a total package involving agreement on new relationships between North and South, between London and Dublin and between the parties internally. He said the process may be slow, "but I know of no other way of getting this cart to the top of the hill". *********************************