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Sinn Féin nominates a Prime Minister for the first time

Sinn Féin nominates a Prime Minister for the first time

Michelle O'Neill, deputy leader of the Irish Republican Party, is First Minister. Many Republicans see it as a step towards Irish reunification.

London/Belfast. When Michelle O'Neill entered the chamber of Northern Ireland's Parliament on Saturday afternoon with a huge smile on her face, she made history. For the first time since the founding of Northern Ireland more than 100 years ago, an Irish nationalist politician has served as Prime Minister in Belfast. O'Neill is deputy leader of Sinn Féin, which is committed to reunification with the Republic of Ireland. “This is a historic day that marks a new dawn,” she said in her inauguration speech.

O'Neill, 47, was elected in May 2022. At the time, Sinn Féin won the largest number of seats in Stormont, Northern Ireland's parliament. But the formation of the government was prevented due to the boycott of the Democratic Unionist Party. The pro-British Protestant hardliners who led the government in Belfast for two decades had been protesting the Northern Ireland Protocol. This treaty, which is part of the Brexit agreement, gives the British province a special status between the European Union and Great Britain.

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