The Assembly of Northern Ireland confirmed the vice-leader of the Sinn Fein separatist party, Michelle O’Neill, as head of the regional executive, RFI reports. The new executive is formed after two years of boycott by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which supports the province remaining in the United Kingdom.
O’Neill’s election ends a two-year crisis during which the province was governed from London. In the 2022 elections for Stormont – Belfast Legislative Assembly – Sinn Fein, the political wing of the separatist paramilitary organization the Irish Republican Army (IRA) came first and as such was to receive the post of First Minister – seat of the regional executive.
Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended a nearly 30-year civil war, the province is co-governed by separatist republicans and unionist Protestants. But in 2022, the main party that wants the province to remain in the UK, the DUP boycotted the formation of the new executive in which it was due the post of deputy chief executive.