Sinn Féin is preparing to take power in Northern Ireland

It is the first time in history that Sinn Féin has held the reins of Ulster in a “power-sharing” government.

Northern Ireland set to end two years of political vacuum with formation and appointment of Stormont Assembly Michelle O’Neill As Chief Minister, Sinn Féin has taken charge of Ulster in a “power-sharing” government for the first time in history.

“This is a historic day”, the expectant Michelle O’Neill, 47, was the daughter of an IRA political prisoner who decided to take political action. “As Chief Minister for All, I am committed to leading positive change and working with other political forces for the progress of our society The spirit of respect, cooperation and equality”,

The recent agreement between the British government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which had boycotted the formation of the Stormont Assembly from 2022 while seeking to remove trade barriers that remained between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland after Brexit, finally allows the return. was given. Political normality in Ulster.

Jeffrey DonaldsonThe leader of the DUP, the second-highest vote-getting force in May 2022, decided to retain his deputy seat at Westminster and hand over the duties of deputy chief minister to another unionist politician. According to the provisions of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, unity governments must accommodate the remaining majority forces. For more than two decades, Sinn Féin played the role of co-pilot in Northern Ireland, with special mention of the tandem they formed. ian paisley And Martin McGuinness (Known in their time as the “Laughing Brothers” for their unique relationship, which allowed a decade of stability).

Despite the desire for co-operation expressed by the DUP leader last week, last-minute tensions arose over the formation of the government and the distribution of portfolios, exposing divisions among unionists. “Premier” rishi sunak For his part, from London, he celebrated the formation of the Stormont Assembly as “a positive step towards restoring institutions in Northern Ireland”.

Chairman of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, has previously warned that his party’s rise to the top of Northern Ireland puts the island’s unification “within reach”. a recent survey Irish Times However, it turns out that support for unification (30%) among the Northern Irish is far from the United Kingdom (51%).

The same survey confirmed that historical division in Ulster continues 40% of voters are defining themselves as “nationalists”, 40% as “unionists” and 20% as “non-aligned” (mostly voters of the Coalition Party, established as the third political force). The increase in support for Sinn Féin has come mainly at the expense of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, paralleling the process that has occurred in Scotland over the past decade with the Scottish National Party (SNP) pulling away from traditional voters. Of Labor Party.

Professor John Tong of the University of Liverpool predicted, “I don’t think there will ever be a unionist prime minister in Northern Ireland again.” “The ‘unionist’ state is over, although this does not mean the end of the Union. What is surprising is the high popular support enjoyed by Sinn Féin, which still opposes recognizing Northern Ireland as a political entity. Does.”


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