Monday, February 5, 2024

Northern Ireland's self government has begun

The New York Times is reporting that "Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain took an unaccustomed victory lap on Monday, visiting Belfast to celebrate the restoration of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government. His ministers struck a deal last week that brought the North’s disaffected unionists back into the territory’s assembly."

CBC is reporting that "An Irish nationalist made history Saturday by becoming Northern Ireland's first minister as the government returned to work after a two-year boycott by unionists. Northern Ireland's parliament appointed Sinn Fein Vice-President Michelle O'Neill to oversee the government that, under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord, shares power between Northern Ireland's two main communities — British unionists who want to stay in the U.K., and Irish nationalists who seek to unite with Ireland."

"Neither side can govern without agreement from the other. Government business ground to a half over the past two years after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) walked out to protest trade issues related to Brexit. O'Neill will share power with Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly from the DUP. The two will be equals, but O'Neill, whose party captured more seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the 2022 elections, will hold the more prestigious title."

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