Northern Ireland power-sharing talks go to the wire

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP | Stormont castle is the seat of the Northern Ireland assembly in Belfast
LONDON (AFP) – Northern Ireland’s political future hangs in the balance as its quibbling parties look set to miss Thursday’s deadline for forming a government, despite a huge cash incentive.

After three months of negotiations to put a power-sharing administration in place the squabbling was still going on just hours ahead of the 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) deadline.

If the parties cannot agree to form a semi-autonomous government in Belfast, Northern Ireland will likely be fully governed from London, although a last-ditch arrangement might yet be possible.

Britain’s Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has said there would be “profound and serious implications” in missing the deadline.

The power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly is a cornerstone of a peace process that ended three decades of violent conflict in the province, broadly split between Protestant British unionists and…

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