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Voters To Pick Who Sits In Negotiations

Thu., May 30, 1996

Pro-British Protestants and Irish Catholics will decide today who should sit at Northern Ireland’s longvacant negotiating table.

The verdict could set the tone for compromise or for renewed conflict.

Politicians went door to door Wednesday, seeking votes one last time in a city so divided that a neighborhood’s religion can be told from the curbs - painted red, white and blue in Protestant areas and the Irish flag’s green, white and orange in Catholic ones.

Twenty-four parties are seeking places in negotiations scheduled to start June 10. Only the top 10 parties overall - or parties that are within the top five in a particular parliamentary district - will be admitted to those talks.

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