N. Ireland Unionists to deprive Sinn Fein from government

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party will call for vote in first General Assembly meeting to eliminate Sinn Fein party

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Senior members of Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, including politicians who were once members of the IRA militant group, have denied the IRA still exists and said any former members involved with the murder of former IRA member Kevin McGuigan in Belfast on Aug. 12 must be prosecuted.

ThDemocratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy head Nigel Dodds met with Northern Ireland's Secretary of State Theresa Villiers on Thursday to discuss a police assessment that members of the IRA may have been involved in the killing.

The IRA ended its violence after 30 years of conflict between Catholic nationalists and Protestants loyalists who wanted to stay with the United Kingdom.

Dodds stressed the need for a unity government in a news conference on Thursday saying "we are determined that, one way or another, we will have a government in Northern Ireland consisting of people totally committed to peaceful and democratic means."

However, Dodds said that Northern Ireland Assembly will gather on Sep. 7 and the DUP will call for a vote to eliminate Sinn Fein from the government. 

The DUP previously said it is ready to topple the power-sharing administration unless the elimination went ahead.

On the other hand, the second largest party, who are nationalists, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) says such an elimination would be premature.

According to regulations, Sinn Fein needs a majority from the cross-community.

Minor UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) drew itself back on Wednesday from the government because of the McGuigan case.

If the DUP draws itself back, the Northern Ireland governance would be controlled by the United Kingdom.

Jeffrey Donaldson, a member of parliament from the DUP told the BBC radio "in the end if the other parties are not prepared to support the exclusion of Sinn Fein, then we will act unilaterally," adding "and if that means we have a period in Northern Ireland when we don't have a government until we resolve and sort out these issues, then so be it."

TRTWorld and agencies