Arlene Foster has officially resigned as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland as the replacement process risks derailing power-sharing institutions.
Speaking to Stormont, Ms Foster paid tribute to her family and said they would see her more “whether they like it or not” – but added that she had “an unfinished business” to ensure the success of Northern Ireland in the future.
In her speech, she continued: “Mr President, my colleagues both inside and outside this House know very well that all periods of leadership must come to an end.
“That is why, when we are privileged and honored to occupy such a position, we must not waste a moment in frivolous maneuvers but rather move forward on behalf of those we represent.
“While I will miss the conversation from this seat, I look forward to new challenges.”
Ms Foster’s decision, which takes effect from 1 p.m., begins the countdown to a seven-day deadline in which the Democratic Unionist Party must reappoint its chosen successor, Paul Givan.
Sinn Fein must now also reappoint Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill to her post.
But a dispute between the two sides over the issue of Irish language legislation risks derailing the process.
If one of the parties does not renew its candidacy within the allotted time, a properly functioning executive cannot be formed.
In this scenario, the UK government assumes legal responsibility for calling early elections to the Assembly.
Analysis: the clock is ticking – and an accidental election could be around the corner
By David Blevins, Senior Correspondent for Ireland
The term “accidental election” comes to mind.
When the DUP ousted Arlene Foster as chief in April, they may not have fully understood where that could lead.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister hold joint positions in Northern Ireland – each role dependent on the other as part of a binding coalition.
But Sinn Fein will not appoint a deputy prime minister to ratify …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-14 10:46:00