Even in the Northern Ireland regional parliament elections, a clear result is not expected until the afternoon. The Republican Catholic Sinn Fein is expected to be the strongest force for the first time. But even before the elections, there were fears that the formation of the government would reach a dead end. It may be a long time before a regional government is formed, Katie Hayward of Queen’s University Belfast told dpa. The political sociologist said it was expected that the Protestant Unionist Party (DUP) would continue to block the formation of a unity government.
The 1998 peace agreement known as the Good Friday Agreement provides for a unity government in the former troubled region made up of the largest parties from both camps. If Sinn Fein does emerge from the election as a stronger political force, the party will have the right to be prime minister. Symbolically, it would be a clear turning point in the history of the part of the United Kingdom that was created 100 years ago.
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