October 5, 2023

Sinn Fein leads in Northern Ireland elections

Sinn Fein leads in Northern Ireland elections

Great Britain – After the elections in Northern Ireland, forming a government has become difficult. Vote counting, which was temporarily suspended late Friday night, is scheduled to continue on Saturday.

According to the BBC, the Catholic Republican Party, Sinn Féin, received the most votes after the first round of counting. With 29 percent of the vote, the party is far ahead of the second strongest, the union Protestant Union Party, which has 21.3 percent. As Irish radio RTÉ reported on Friday evening, citing Sinn Fein circles, the party is confident that it will also win the most seats in the regional parliament.

This would be a historical outcome for that part of the United Kingdom. Sinn Fein was once considered the political arm of the armed ERA, which fought at gunpoint to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

If the expectations are confirmed, the party will be given the right to nominate the prime minister in the next unity government. Until now, this position has always been occupied by the parties in favor of preserving the union with Great Britain. Sinn Fein remained committed to the unity of Ireland, but did not prioritize it during the election campaign.

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill has called for a discussion of unity with the Republic of Ireland after the regional parliament elections. “Let’s all work on a common plan,” O’Neill said on Friday from dpa in Maguravelt, Northern Ireland. As head of government, she wants to devote herself to issues such as the rising cost of living and health.

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However, the formation of a government under her leadership could fail due to the resistance of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which would have to appoint a representative with equal rights. According to the 1998 peace agreement known as the Good Friday Agreement, the most powerful parties from both sects must form a national unity government.

The Alliance party, which represents neither of the two dominant camps but instead wants to leave trench warfare behind, received 13.5 percent of the vote after the first round of counting. This is a significant increase of about 4.5 per cent compared to the last parliamentary elections.