Belfast – AFP
Sinn Fin leader Michelle O’Neill said on Saturday that Northern Ireland was entering a new era with its nationalist party, leading the pre-election results and calling for a debate on ending Britain’s rule on boycotts.
As the full results of the election for his district of Mid-Ulster were released, O’Neill addressed party supporters and the media: “Today we are entering a new era, a decisive moment for our politics and people.
He pointed out that he adheres to a leadership style that is inclusive and diverse across all parties and ensures the rights and equality of those who have been marginalized, discriminated against and neglected in the past.
O’Neill appears to be on track to become Britain’s first national leader, with his party leading the election ahead of the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The Unionist Party refuses to participate in any government in Northern Ireland until the UK abolishes the post-Brexit trade regimes introduced with the European Union.
“People said their word,” O’Neill said, adding that his party was committed to fulfilling its responsibilities and hoped that others would do the same.
“Addressing the high cost of living in the United Kingdom should be the first priority,” he stressed.
A century after the annexation of Northern Ireland to British rule, he recalled the debate over the reunification of Ireland and called for a fruitful debate on our future.
On Saturday, Unionist Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson conceded defeat, saying in a statement to the Sky News Network that “Sin Fine will be the most representative party” but reiterated that his party will not participate. Any government without amending the trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Donaldson called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “respect his commitment and take necessary action in relation to Northern Ireland’s ethics.”
“We do not believe it’s acceptable or necessary to set up checkpoints to move goods into the United Kingdom, so we must take decisive action to remove the border in the Irish Sea,” he urged the British government.
Although Sinn Féin could appoint a prime minister, the party could not form a power-sharing government unless the unionists agreed to join.
“I want a government in Northern Ireland, but it must be a government with solid foundations,” Donaldson said.
“The spectrum of Northern Ireland ethics affects our economy, it affects our political stability,” he said.
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