On the threshold of historic victory in Northern Ireland, despite the risk of political paralysis, Sinn Fൻin, the national party in favor of the reunification of all Ireland, on Saturday promised a “new era” in the British province.
As the long count of ballots recorded in the ballot boxes on Thursday to nominate the 90 elected members of the local assembly progresses, partial results give Sinn Fന്in a slight lead over its unionist rival, the DUP, which is in favor of keeping it within the British crown. This is the first time in the province’s 100 – year history that it was created in 1921 during the partition of Ireland and in the wake of Brexit.
“Today is a very important moment of change,” he said, welcoming Michelle O’Neill, leader of the Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fin, from her constituency of Mid-Ulster and promising to overcome divisions. “I will provide leadership that includes all those who celebrate the diversity that guarantees the rights and equality of those who have been excluded, discriminated against or neglected in the past.”
Under the 1998 peace agreement, Michelle O’Neill will lead a successful coalition government led by nationalists and unionists.
Belfast has so far won 23 of the 79 declared seats in favor of Sinn Fein, while the DUP favors 22 for the British title.
The National Party has already won the highest number of first-preference votes (21.3% to 29%), and the situation should not be reversed at the end of the count.
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has admitted on Sky News that Sinn Fin will become the new ruling party in the legislature.
But negotiations for the formation of a government promise to be difficult and risky paralysis, with unions refusing to join the government as long as customs restrictions remain in place after the Brexit, which in their opinion threatens the integrity of the United States. Kingdom. United.
“I want a government in Northern Ireland, but it must be based on a sustainable basis,” said Mr Donaldson, condemning the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated between London and the European Union, as “damaging” the province’s economy and its “political stability”.
– “Months” discussions –
In the opinion of Northern Irish politicians, another party heavyweight, Edwin Boots, has warned that talks could take “weeks or months with hope” as British Provincial Minister Brandon Lewis is expected in Belfast on Monday.
“People talked and now we have to show our work. I hope others will do the same,” Michelle O’Neill told reporters.
She called for a “healthy debate” on the future of Northern Ireland, saying the new executive should prioritize tackling the rising cost of living, and after a campaign, she insisted on social and social issues rather than constitutional issues.
Northern Ireland, marked by three decades of bloody unrest between Unionists and Republicans, and then the unrest caused by Brexit, returned to uncertainty in February with the resignation of Unionist Prime Minister Paul Givan.
“Sinn Fin’s victory exploits the weakness of unionism during the UK’s real transition after Brexit.
They focus on the split in the union vote and the progress of the Centralist Alliance Party.
– Boris Johnson hits back –
Elsewhere in the UK, where local elections took place on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party suffered a major setback due to “partygate” and inflation. It lost hundreds of seats and a dozen councils to Labor and the Liberal Democrats.
Boris Johnson said he was determined to stay in power. But these bad results have left him vulnerable, worried about the 2024 legislative election and pushing deputies out of his camp to question the appropriateness of continuing to support him.
To be convinced, Boris Johnson will have to offer a “real action plan” that will reveal its priorities in parliament during the traditional throne speech on Tuesday, said Simon Asherwood, a political scientist at the Open University who was interviewed by the AFP.
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