Things Are Rumbling Again

…in a place no one’s given much thought to in quite some time.

N Ireland ‘wants return to power-sharing’
Voters have sent a clear message that they want parties on both sides of Northern Ireland’s political divide to unite to restore self-government to the province, Tony Blair, the prime minister, and Bertie Ahern, his Irish counterpart, said yesterday.
In a joint statement clearly aimed at the Democratic Unionists, the biggest party after Wednesday’s election, the two prime ministers said “all must now take responsibility in government for building and consolidating peace”.
They said: “Restoration of the devolved institutions represents an opportunity of historic proportions. It must not be missed.”
But the DUP, which is led by Ian Paisley, the Protestant preacher-politician, has yet to commit itself to sharing power with Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA and the largest party among Catholic voters.
The British government has warned Ulster’s parties that unless they agree to form a new power-sharing executive by March 26, the Northern Ireland Assembly will be shut down and the province run by London and Dublin.
Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary, insisted after meeting a delegation from the DUP that there was “no discretion” in the March 26 deadline.
But the DUP is insisting that Sinn Féin now clearly sets out its support for the police and courts. The party also wants the British government to provide a special financial package before it will agree to participate in the devolved institutions, which were suspended in 2002 amid police allegations of IRA subversive activities.
With all of the 108 seats declared last night, the DUP had 36 seats, Sinn Féin 28, the Ulster Unionists 18, the moderate nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party 16, the cross-community Alliance seven and one each for the Greens, the Progressive Unionists and an independent.

Our buddy Pete Baker posts at Slugger O’Toole, where the comments themselves are illuminating.

One Response to “Things Are Rumbling Again”

  1. Emily says:

    “Illuminating.” That’s a new word for the comments at Slugger.

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