Les paradoxes de l’élection nord-irlandaise

Les paradoxes de l’élection nord-irlandaise

Historical, the Northern Irish election of May 5 is unquestionably. For the first time in the history of this nation of the United Kingdom with a troubled past, a nationalist party favoring the reunification of the island of Ireland came out on top in elections to renew the Stormont Assembly, the Parliament Northern Irish. Sinn Fein obtained 27 deputies, against 25 for the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party), the main unionist party, attached to the maintenance in the United Kingdom (out of a total of 90 for the Assembly of Stormont). Since its creation in 1921, Northern Ireland had always been politically and sociologically dominated by Unionists, mainly Protestants; the nationalists are essentially Catholics.

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“We are entering a new era”, welcomed Saturday, May 7 at the end of the count Michelle O’Neill, the vice-president of Sinn Fein, on the way to becoming the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. However, the teaching of this election presents paradoxes. In the short term, it will most likely cause a political crisis in Belfast and a paralysis of the Northern Irish executive. On Saturday, Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP, confirmed that his party will refuse to appoint a deputy prime minister until the British government has substantially renegotiated the Northern Irish Protocol, that part of the Brexit treaty signed between London and Brussels instituting a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, which Unionists see as an affront to their British identity.

However, under the Good Friday Agreement, which in 1998 put an end to thirty years of civil war between nationalists and unionists, the two communities are obliged to govern together. The Prime Minister is appointed from among the deputies of the first party to come out on top in the elections. The position of Deputy Chief Executive is held by an elected member of the opposing community. The other formations divide the posts of minister according to their performance. If the DUP refuses to play this complex democratic game, and an executive is not formed within twenty-four weeks of the formation of the Stormont Assembly, new elections will have to be called. In the meantime, the Assembly alone will not be able to adopt laws, in particular the vote of the nation’s budget.

Gross provocation towards the EU

As of Saturday, pressure mounted on the DUP to renounce its tactic of obstruction, its ” held ostage “ of Northern Ireland as Michelle O’Neill had castigated her a few days before the election. Brandon Lewis, the UK Government’s Minister for Northern Ireland, has called on Northern Irish parties to “form an executive as soon as possible. (…) Voters have clearly demanded a fully functioning government.”

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