The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein won the largest number of seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time in its history, but a difficult negotiation for the formation of a government between unionists and republicans is predicted.
Local elections held in Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The former political arm of the Irish Republican Army (ERI) and defender of the reunification of Ireland, will be the first party in the regional Parliament after securing 27 of the 88 seats in dispute and will be able to claim the position of local prime minister.
The historic victory means Sinn Fein is entitled to the post of prime minister in Belfast for the first time since Northern Ireland was founded as a majority Protestant state in 1921.
However, according to the Good Friday Agreement (1998), Sinn Fein should head a power-sharing executive.
The minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, called on the second most voted formation in Thursday’s elections, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to name a candidate for deputy chief minister so that the Northern Irish government resumes its activity.
The leader of the DUP, Jeffrey Donaldson, has insisted that his formation will not enter the government until the Protocol for Northern Ireland between the European Union and the United Kingdom is eliminated.
However, the negotiations are announced to be difficult, given that the unionists refuse to integrate the cabinet while the customs controls between the island and the rest of the United Kingdom, established by the Brexit agreements, persist.
The unionists consider that these controls threaten the unity of the country, made up of four nations, three of them (England, Scotland and Wales) located on the island of Great Britain and the other on Ireland.