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Secretary of State Brendan calls on Northern Ireland’s political parties to form an executive branch as soon as possible Lewis.

Sinn Fein won the largest number of seats in the Assembly elections, the first time a nationalist or Republican party has formed the largest group in the delegated Stormont Assembly.

However, for several months after that the region was without executive power DUP dismantled institutions as part of his protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol after Brexit.

The party, led by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has vowed not to re-enter the government unless their demands on the protocol are met.

The people of Northern Ireland deserve a stable and accountable local government that addresses the issues that matter most to them.

In a statement, Mr Lewis said: “I urge the parties to form an executive branch as soon as possible.

“The people of Northern Ireland deserve a stable and responsible local government that addresses the issues that matter most to them.

“On Thursday, the electorate made a number of reports.

“They were clear that they want a fully functioning delegated government in Northern Ireland, they want the problems with the protocol to be resolved, and they want the policy to work better.”

Mr Lewis added: “In the coming days, I will meet with all party leaders and urge them to restore Stormont’s institutions as soon as possible, starting with the nomination of the speaker of the assembly within eight days.

“In Government remains loyal Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and will continue to work with the parties of Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland to realize their vision of reconciliation, equality, respect for rights and parity of respect.

“Together we must move towards a brighter future – which means we can help all the people of Northern Ireland.”

A similar request was made by Taoist Irishman Michael Martin, congratulating the party on the election results.

Taoiseach Michael Martin said the formation of the executive branch is in the interests of all NI residents (Niall Carson / PA) / PA wire

He said: “All political parties and elected representatives are now obliged to fulfill their mandate by nominating the First and Deputy First Ministers and forming a new executive branch that will serve the interests of all the people of Northern Ireland.

“The division of powers and the principles of partnership, equality and mutual respect underpin the Good Friday Agreement, which has ensured peace and progress for almost 25 years.

“A new head with a separation of powers is vital to progress and prosperity for all in Northern Ireland.

“As a co-guarantor of the Good Friday agreement, the government will continue to work in partnership with British government and work with the leaders of the political parties in Northern Ireland to seek and maintain the effective functioning of all the political institutions of the agreement ”.

A U.S. government spokesman said political leaders should “take the necessary steps” to restore executive power.

Ned Price of the US State Department said: “We call on the political leaders of Northern Ireland to take the necessary steps to restore the executive branch of government, which is one of the main institutions established by the Belfast and Good Friday agreements.

“Critical and urgent problems concerning the economy, health and education are best addressed by the joint efforts of a transferred government, elected by its people and accountable to it.

“The United States has a deep and long-standing relationship with Northern Ireland based on ties of kinship, culture, trade and shared values.

“We remain deeply committed to maintaining the peaceful dividend of the Belfast and Good Friday agreements and will always strive to protect these achievements for all communities.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Democratic Partners in Northern Ireland, as well as with the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, to support peace, prosperity and stability throughout the region.”

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has congratulated Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou MacDonald and party vice-president Michelle O’Neill.

She tweeted: “Many congratulations to @moneillsf and @MaryLouMcDonald with a truly historic result for Sinn Fein.

“I wish Michelle and her colleagues – and all the elected representatives of Northern Ireland – all the best in what happens next, and I hope that the NI government will work again soon.”

Shadow Secretary of Northern Ireland Peter Kyle said his party could act as an “honest broker”, helping to restore the executive branch.

He said: “Congratulations to all the new members of the Assembly and Sinn Fein on being eligible to nominate a new First Minister, for Northern Ireland it is good that parties from any community can nominate a First Minister and shows the Belfast and Good Friday agreement works.

“Unionism will continue to have a strong voice within the division of powers, and calls for progress on the remaining issues of the protocol have been heard and should not hinder a return to the executive branch.

“Now the government should prioritize practical solutions through negotiations with the EU, rather than chasing headlines with empty threats.

“The Labor Party will always be an honest broker for Northern Ireland, and we are ready to help Stormont fulfill the promise of this election and launch the executive branch to help people with the cost of living crisis we face in the United Kingdom.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/lewis-government-dup-belfast-us-government-b998646.html

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