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BAN ON SINN FEIN EASED FOR ELECTIONS

British authorities said Tuesday they had temporarily eased curbs on broadcasting interviews with Sinn Fein, political wing of the guerrilla Irish Republican Army, during the British election campaign.

Sinn Fein said, however, it was not satisfied."For them to ease the restrictions at election time in no way balances out the type of censorship laws that we are living under," Sinn Fein director of elections Jim Gibney told Belfast reporters.

The Home Office (interior ministry) confirmed that a 1988 ban on Sinn Fein spokesmen being heard on radio and television had been eased until polling booths close in the April 9 general election.

"In essence the ban is not lifted," the British Broadcasting Corp. said. "but there is an exemption for election coverage."

The controversial ban applies to the outlawed IRA, fighting British rule in Northern Ireland, and to Sinn Fein, a political party with one seat in the British parliament.

This is held by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. He seeks re-election from Belfast but has never taken up the seat because Sinn Fein does not recognize British rule.