Left Menu
Development News Edition

Northern Ireland's politicians return to work after three-year standoff


Northern Ireland's politicians return to work after three-year standoff
Representative image Image Credit: Reuters

Northern Ireland's main political parties sat down together in Belfast on Saturday to form a power-sharing government and end a three-year standoff that threatened a key part of the province's 1998 peace settlement.

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the largest group in the reformed Assembly, was sworn in as First Minister at a special sitting of the 90-member body at Parliament Buildings in Stormont. Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein Vice President and leader of the second largest party in the Assembly, was sworn in as Deputy First Minister.

Naomi Long, leader of the centrist nonsectarian Alliance Party will be Justice Minister, and in a show of cross-party support, Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey was elected as Speaker with DUP backing. Sinn Fein, the largest nationalist party, withdrew from the power-sharing government three years ago, saying it was not being treated equally by the pro-British DUP. Since then both parties have blamed each other for a number of failed attempts to break the deadlock.

The restoration of the devolved administration came after the British and Irish governments on Thursday brokered a deal to end the suspension of the Assembly. The draft deal offers a new cultural framework to "protect and enhance" the Irish language as well as the Ulster-Scots language. It also offers reform of a clause from the 1998 peace deal that was meant to ensure cross-community support on controversial issues but was frequently used as a veto over the assembly's decisions.

The importance of the devolved administration has increased because a provision in Britain's Brexit withdrawal deal will give the assembly the right every four years to consider whether to maintain alignment with EU market rules. The Assembly now recovers administrative responsibility for Northern Ireland, which suffered through three decades of sectarian violence before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The two big Northern Irish parties were under pressure to reach a deal after their share of the vote fell in December's UK general election, and budget issues in the health service culminated in a strike by local nurses this week. Had the parties not reached a deal by next Monday, the British Government insisted there would have to be fresh elections.

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

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Handling fake news Infodemic in time of Coronavirus epidemic

Social media has provided a platform where everybody can disseminate his her views without any supervision. Its excellent if the message is genuine but misinformation is equally disastrous. Health is such a topic where every Tom and Harry c...

Sentiment Analysis on Budget 2020: Long shot for solution to economic worries?

Industries and individuals alike had high expectations from the government to take tangible steps but the budget 2020 seems to have failed expectations....

How can technology help the future of mobility?

More than a billion people or one-third of the global rural population lacked access to all-season roads and transport services in 2016, subsequently hindering the socio-economic development....

Videos

Latest News

Poor sleep may increase risk of obesity, heart disease in women

Women who sleep poorly tend to eat unhealthy food and consume a lower-quality diet, thereby increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease, according to a new study. The findings led by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Ce...

Israeli court: Netanyahu corruption trial to begin in March

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus corruption trial will begin on March 17, an Israeli court said Tuesday, just two weeks after national elections are held. Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust under a numbe...

Bengaluru FC face Maldivian Side Maziya in AFC Cup play-offs first leg

Their hopes of Indian Super League top spot dashed, a tired Bengaluru FC would look for some solace when they take on Maziya FC of Maldives in the AFC Cup play-offs first leg match here on Wednesday. Defending champions Bengaluru FC are out...

Goyal flays T''gana govt move to pass anti-CAA resolution

Slamming the move to adopt an anti-CAA resolution in the Telangana assmebly, Union MinisterPiyush Goyal on Tuesday said the K Chandrasekhar Rao-led government appeared to be indulging in petty politics andappeasement of minorities under pos...

Give Feedback