Northern Ireland parties urged to work together after Sinn Fein win

The British and Irish governments have urged rival parties in Northern Ireland to unite to resurrect its power-sharing government after Irish nationalist Sinn Fein won a historic victory in local elections to become the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Sinn Fein, which seeks to unite with Ireland, won 27 seats in the 90-seat legislature, beating the Democratic Unionist Party, which took 25 seats. It is the first time in the history of Northern Ireland that an Irish nationalist party has won the poll. But it is unclear whether Sinn Fein will lead a new government due to Northern Ireland’s delicate power-sharing policy and ongoing struggles over the legacy of Britain’s exit from the Union. European.

While Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill is now entitled to the post of Prime Minister, a functioning Northern Irish executive – or devolved government – can only be formed if the larger Unionist party agrees to join. to the role of Deputy Prime Minister. In February, the DUP’s Paul Givan resigned as prime minister in protest at the post-Brexit border arrangements, causing the executive to crumble. His party said it would not return to government until its demands for customs arrangements were met. Leaders in London and Dublin have said all parties must now restore government as soon as possible.

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said on Saturday evening that “it is now up to all political parties and elected officials to fulfill their mandate”. “Power-sharing and the principles of partnership, equality and mutual respect are at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement, through which peace has been secured and progress made for nearly 25 years,” he said. -he adds. “A new power-sharing executive is vital for the progress and prosperity of all in Northern Ireland.” In London, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said he would meet party leaders on Monday to discuss how to restore a functioning government. Lewis reiterated his position that the UK government would like to reach an agreement with the EU to resolve disputes over post-Brexit rules known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The DUP is strongly opposed to the rules, which have imposed customs and border checks on certain goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. Unionists say the new controls have created a barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK that undermines their British identity. Britain’s Conservative government is trying to convince the EU to agree to major changes, but negotiations have stalled. “The UK government’s position is that we want to get a deal with the EU. We’re very clear about that,’ Lewis told the BBC on Sunday. “We’ve been working very hard on this for over a year now through a series of conversations. We have made proposals. The EU has shown no flexibility. Northern Ireland’s delicate system, which divides power between Britain’s largest Unionist Party and Ireland’s largest Nationalist Party, was created by the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement that ended decades Catholic-Protestant conflict.

If no power-sharing executive can be formed within six months, a new election can be called. (AP) RD RD

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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