North Ireland. Stormont Assembly fails to elect a new president, blocking the formation of a new government | Political news

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Politicians go through motions as NI fails to secure new government

People in this part of the UK are well used to long periods without a functioning government – ​​they are also very familiar with the posture of different political parties when they fail to deliver on their promises.

Monday’s machinations will not surprise even the most casual observers.

Party lines had changed little in recent days. It was a Sinn Fein stunt last week, according to DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, and it was another Sinn Fein stunt on Monday, according to his colleague Paul Givan.

The DUP insists that Sinn Fein knows only too well the impossibility for them to re-enter government until the thorny issue of the NI protocol remains unresolved. It was one of the five pillars of their election campaign, and now they are beholden to it.

Sinn Fein, for its part, continues to decry the DUP’s failure to uphold the democratic outcome of this month’s landmark election, which saw Sinn Fein become the largest party and the Prime Minister’s seat kept warm for Michelle O’Neil.

She, too, dutifully repeated the lines – the DUP was “holding the people to ransom”. Audiences “want action, not words,” she said. They were used as “bargaining chips… for narrow party interests”.

The upshot of all this is that – in the midst of a cost of living crisis and with some of the worst waiting lists in the UK healthcare system – the people of Northern Ireland must continue to wait for their elected representatives actually start work.

The largest party says that it is up to the second largest party to solve this problem. The second largest party says it’s up to politicians in London and Brussels to fix the problem. It’s just another day in Northern Irish politics.

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