Parties lined up for return to North power sharing

Mary Lou McDonald: “Responsibility of every party to ensure the Executive meets.” Twitter photo.


By Irish Echo Staff

All the North political parties have agreed to return to power sharing government in Stormont after an absence of a functioning executive lasting three years.

The Irish times was reporting that Sinn Fein’s Ard Comhairle “has taken the decision to re-enter the power-sharing institutions and to nominate ministers to the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland.”

The party’s president, Mary Lou McDonald, told reporters at a press conference in Parliament Buildings that it was the “responsibility of every party to ensure the Executive meets.”

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She said she did not have a time or a day for the Executive to meet, but that Sinn Féin was “anxious we get to work as soon as possible.”

She said the party was “ready to do business” and was ready to go back into the Executive and to make its nominations for first and deputy first ministers, and that the party was doing this “on the basis that now we rebuild complete power-sharing.”

She said believed all of the North’s parties should now enter the Executive.

Reports have indicated that all the other parties, including the DUP, are ready to re-enter devolved government.

The Irish and British governments had published a draft text on Thursday night which would form the basis for the restoration of the Northern Executive.

A statement from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Thursday evening said: “The Tánaiste and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland have tonight at Stormont announced and published a proposed agreement - New Decade, New Approach - as the basis for the political parties in Northern Ireland to operate the power-sharing Executive and Assembly again, which would also allow the resumption of the North South Ministerial Council.

This is based on the extensive discussions and collective work undertaken by the Parties since May last year.

“The Governments believe that it represents a fair and balanced package that, if implemented, would make politics and government in Northern Ireland more transparent, accountable, stable, inclusive and effective.

“The Governments have also each announced a series of financial and other commitments in support of the resumption of the power-sharing institutions at Stormont and the North South Ministerial Council and these are both annexed to the proposed agreement. The Governments have therefore today put this proposed agreement to all the parties.”