Sinn Féin turns the history of Northern Ireland after being the most voted political force

“What happened today represents a very significant moment of change. A defining moment for our politics and our people.” With those words, the leader of Sinn Féin, Michelle O’Neill, confirmed on Saturday Unprecedented Republican Victory, heirs of the IRA, who claim the unity of ireland. The nationalists have become the most voted political force in the north of the island and the one that will have the most seats, of the 90 that make up the Belfast Assembly. “My commitment is to make politics work. My commitment is to seek collaboration, not division. We will work with all those who have other political visions. We will respect them and we expect them to respect us.” O’Neill called for all parties to return to Stormont Castle on Monday. “It is urgent to restore the Executive & rdquor ;.

The requirement that it should become new chief minister of autonomy is far from being fulfilled. Unionists and nationalists must agree to govern together, before the new charges can take office. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had so far won the last five elections to the Belfast Assembly. By decision of their leader, Jeffrey Donaldsonthe autonomy remains suspended since February. Donaldson, relegated to second place, has not yet confirmed that he is willing to be deputy prime minister in a coalition with Sinn Féin at the helm. For weeks he has been warning that will boycott the formation of the autonomous Executive until Boris Johnson check the Bexit Protocol and eliminate the commercial border with Britain.

Fragmentation of unionism

The victory of the Republicans was not due to an increase in their percentage of votes, but to the fragmentation of unionism and the rise of a third political force. The TUV (Traditional Unionist Voice) has subtracted votes from the DUP with a tougher position regarding the Protocol. “The division of unionism in this election has led to the fact that, despite the fact that the unionist vote is strong, we do not win more seats because those votes are very distributed & rdquor ;, lamented Donaldson, who has called for an urgent meeting of all the unionist leaders.

More important still has been the progress of the alliance, which has broken the traditional two-block division of Northern Ireland politics. In the results of the preferential vote, Sinn Féin obtained the 29% (+1), DUP twenty-one% (-7)Alliance 14% (+4)UUP 11% (-2)SDLP (-3)TUV (+5).

Unity of Ireland in the background

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What happened with the Alliance Party, which went from fifth place to the third most votes, is another sign that things are changing in Northern Ireland. It is a centrist, liberal and progressive option, which is taking root among the middle classes, especially in Belfast, and is offered as a neutral alternative to those who want to stop having to choose between unionists and nationalists. “After the Good Friday Agreement It was about managing the divisions, but now people have higher aspirations, they want to go further & rdquor ;, said its leader, Naomi Long.

Sinn Féin has won the elections with a campaign based on the street people problemssuch as the rising cost of living and the state of social services. In the background has been the demand for the unity of irelandalthough it is inalienable and fundamental for the republican movement. Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Féin and leader of the Republic of Ireland, has declared that she will promote the holding of referendums in the north and south of the island within five years. “In the next few years, certainly within this decade, we are going to see constitutional change on the island of Ireland. I think that he referendum is possible within five years & rdquor ;.

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