The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which wants Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, is obstructing the formation of a new administration. The DUP lost last week in the elections won by Republican Sinn Féin, but the Northern Ireland administration must consist of both unionists and Republicans. The country is facing a political crisis.
The DUP is opposed in principle to the current arrangement of the Northern Ireland protocol, which is a temporary solution to the border issue between the UK and the European Union. The party refuses to cooperate with a new government in Northern Ireland in order to put pressure on the government in London. The DUP wants the British government to take action against the protocol.
According to the party, the current arrangement jeopardizes the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The party wants to abandon the protocol and is now putting London and Brussels under pressure.
“The protocol is a direct attack on the commencement of every political agreement reached in Northern Ireland over the past 25 years,” DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said in a statement.
As long as there is no new government, no important decisions can be made or new bills can be passed.
Sinn Féin called the DUP’s stance “shameful”. Because even though the Republican Party – which is for a united Ireland – won the election last week gloriously, it needs cooperation with the unionists to govern. That is how it is regulated by law.
Other parties also explain the position of the DUP. They felt that a new government should be formed to save the healthcare system and grow the purchasing power of Northern Irish people. These were important issues for the electorate during the elections.
As a result of the DUP’s interference, Northern Ireland is currently-a week after Sinn Féin’s first ever election victory-in a political crisis. Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’neill could become the first Republican prime minister in decades.