Northern Ireland’s Largest Party Rocked by Power-Sharing Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party leader, Edwin Poots, is facing a mutiny that could threaten his leadership after only three weeks in the job.
Party officials were locked in emergency talks on Thursday after a deal was struck late the previous day restoring Belfast’s power sharing executive, according to the Belfast Telegraph. As part of the accord, Sinn Fein nominated Michelle O’Neill as Deputy First Minister and Poots nominated the DUP’s Paul Givan as First Minister.
Poots defied calls from senior figures in the DUP to stall the process, according to the newspaper. A “sizable majority” of DUP representatives voted against the leader’s decision in an internal meeting minutes before the nomination process began, RTE reported.
The power-sharing agreement came after the U.K. warned it would push laws through Parliament giving more weight to the Irish language -- something Sinn Fein had made a precondition for sharing power -- if Northern Ireland’s Assembly didn’t do so by the end of September.
The move adds to the growing turmoil in the DUP, which has seen its support decline in opinion polls as Brexit roiled trade with the rest of the U.K. In April, the party ousted party leader Arlene Foster. On Thursday, she tweeted:
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