Sinn Féin close to victory in first election in Northern Ireland – News

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has dominated politics for the past 19 years since 2003, but has lost ground to historic rival Sinn Féin, who has focused his campaign on improving living conditions and against Brexit.

The loss to the DUP, which has lost support in joining Boris Johnson’s Eurosceptic Tories, could lead to a power vacuum in Stormont, as the party has threatened to overthrow the regional executive until the post-Brexit protocol is repealed.

The Unionists saw the text as a threat to the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom, and it created additional customs controls between the province and the rest of the United Kingdom, which in practice kept Northern Ireland in the European single market and customs union.

In February, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Paul Givan, resigned from the DUP in protest of the protocol, leading to the ousting of Michelle O’Neill, Deputy Prime Minister of Sinn Féin.

The prime minister and the deputy prime minister are, in practice, equally important, as one cannot make a decision without the other’s approval, so the DUP’s resignation from the prime minister has, above all, a symbolic weight.

Under the system envisaged in the 1998 Northern Ireland Peace Accords, both groups in the conflict, the Protestant “unionists” in the British crown, and Catholic Republicans in favor of political reunification of the island must divide regional government. Irish.

Sinn Féin is a former political arm of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The group is responsible for the bombings that killed hundreds of people in the 1960s and 2000s, which in itself causes disgust among many voters.

The basic policy of the Irish Party is also to promote a referendum on leaving the United Kingdom and joining the Republic of Ireland, which the DUP and other ‘unionist’ parties, as well as the Boris Johnson government, want to avoid.

“Sinn Féin’s success can have a profound impact on‘ unionism ’, British politics and the people of Northern Ireland, so it’s a significant moment,” said Tony Travers, a professor of political science at the London School of Economics.

Equally important are the results of parties that are neither nationalist nor “unionist” such as the Alliance, Verdes and People Before Profit. [Pessoas em vez de Lucro]which combat the sectarianism that has characterized Northern Ireland’s politics.

Government negotiations usually take several months, as the executive must involve the parties with the most votes and their sensitivity, which is often contradictory between coalition partners.

A total of 90 seats in the 18 constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly are being put to the vote.

The previous elections in 2017 led to a three-year political stalemate until the formation of a regional government in 2020.

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