The News of the World Ireland's press anticipates today's Assembly elections
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The Independent Culture
Republican News, Dublin

IRISH UNITY and independence are the best context within which to tackle the political and social inequalities that face the Irish people. Sinn Fein is looking beyond the present situation and towards a future based on freedom, justice and peace. A vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for the continuance of the peace process. Sinn Fein has been the dynamic for change over the years. The best way to ensure that the pace of political progress continues is to go out and vote Sinn Fein on 25 June.

Belfast Telegraph

MR TRIMBLE has signalled, in his cautious way, that the cold war between the two traditions should be at an end. There is a long way to go, and the parties linked to paramilitaries who have indicated that their war is over have yet to prove it, by action on decommissioning. There is a good chance, however, that if the vote goes the right way on Thursday, Mr Trimble will be able to institute, as First Minister, the new Northern Ireland of which his predecessors could only dream.

The Irish News, Belfast

ONCE TODAY'S result is known, Unionism will embark on a complicated realignment that has been overdue for 20 years. Nationalists will be spectators of that display, reminiscent of the turmoil that afflicted Unionism in the early Seventies as its politicians struggled to avoid the implications of equality of status. Today they can play a unique role by using their preferences judiciously to support the slim majority of Unionists who want change.

Irish Independent, Dublin

TRIMBLE IS banking on the hope that a clear majority of Protestants are prepared to step into the political unknown. But there is still so much mistrust in Northern politics that it will take a long time for nationalists to accept that this politician may have turned a new corner, and that Unionism is capable of being refashioned to include inclusiveness and partnership.

The Irish Times, Dublin IT WILL quickly become clear whether even pro-Agreement Unionists can countenance Sinn Fein becoming part of the new Northern Ireland executive (or the shadow executive) in the absence of decommissioning. The evidence is they cannot. The reality is the Republican movement is conditioned to accept the kind of compromises for them that the Belfast Agreement represents.

In the long term, even the medium term, the war is over, but a resumption of that campaign will defer for years the reassurance of Unionists that the war is indeed over and without such reassurance no agreement can work.