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Party leaders in Northern Ireland meet to try to form a government

December 16, 2019


The leaders of the political parties of Northern Ireland met Monday with the United Kingdom Minister for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, to discuss the formation of Government.

Smith has warned that if the negotiations do not go ahead this time he will have to call new elections for the Norwegian Assembly in the next year, according to the newspaper 'Belfast Telegraph'.

Party leaders in Northern Ireland meet to try to form a government
Party leaders in Northern Ireland meet to try to form a government

The leader of the Northern Ireland Alliance Party, Naomi Long, has said that the meeting with Julian Smith has been “constructive and positive.” “There are three weeks ahead to deliberate. This week it cannot be just people licking their wounds or strutting after the last elections,” he said.

“The elections are over, now we have to make the Assembly work, that means we have to analyze the difficult decisions and reforms that must be carried out for the Assembly to start working,” he added.

The Norwegian Executive, one of the pillars of the 1998 Peace Accords, was broken in January 2017 with the departure of Sinn Fein from it after arguing that his partners in the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) were not treating them as equals The efforts and calls for a new government to form have not prospered so far.

The situation broke out when Martin McGuiness resigned as senior vice minister following his disagreement with the head of the Norwegian Government, Arlene Foster, regarding a controversial energy program.

Almost three years later, the last round of contacts is based on the complicated relationship between the DUP and the Irish nationalist party Sinn Féin. Meanwhile, the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP) and the Northern Ireland Alliance Party continue to grow.

Some issues such as the law of the Irish language or the reform of the internal regulations are topics that have been dealt with in successive failed conversations to try to form a government.

It was rumored that an agreement could be reached in February 2018, when former Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Belfast to address this issue, although disagreements over the Irish language caused the talks to end.

Last week, the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar, respectively, pledged to work together to recover “the institutions of the Good Friday Agreements”, in an indirect allusion to the Government of Northern Ireland.

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