Latest from Ireland Arlene Foster Resigns
Today Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) resigned as the First Minister of the government in the North of Ireland. The new leader of the DUP, Edwin Poots, following a brutal leadership contest has sought to replace her with his choice, Paul Givan.
However, the rules to replace a First Minister means that the DUP is dependent on the support of Sinn Féin. Failure to appoint a First Minister will lead to an election.
In January 2020 the DUP and both governments agreed to a series of proposals including an Irish Language Act, that was to be introduced within three months. 15 months later the DUP has continued to block the introduction of the legislation.
In the lead-up to the proposed replacement of First Minister, Edwin Poots said that he would honor his commitments and expedite the necessary legislation. Over the past number of weeks, Sinn Fein has engaged in good faith with the new DUP to flesh out his commitment to legislate for the agreements.
Conor Murphy MLA
Friends of Ireland Capitol Hill 2019
Speaking today, Finance Minister Conor Murphy of Sinn Féin said that the talks with the DUP leader had, "run out of road".
Mr. Murphy outlined that the previous DUP leadership had undertaken to bring the legislation forward in December, January, and February but failed to do so.
"We've tried our best in good faith.. but the DUP are being disingenuous," added Mr. Murphy.
The agreement to re-establish the institutions in January 2020 was guaranteed by all parties and both governments. The actions of the DUP undermine powersharing and the political process.
It is time for both governments and the other parties to be clear that the agreements must be honored and the rights of citizens respected.
There are seven days to fill the positions of First and deputy First ministers. Failure to appoint these positions will lead to an election.