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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
PA Stormont Estate.
# Recall
Stormont Assembly recalled as DUP rivals urge party to drop powersharing boycott
The latest bid to restore powersharing in Northern Ireland looks set to fail.

THE NORTHERN IRELAND Assembly is to be recalled on Wednesday in a bid to put pressure on the DUP to end its boycott of powersharing.

A petition tabled by Sinn Féin has gained the requisite 30 MLA signatures to secure a recall of the crisis-hit assembly.

It will now be recalled on Wednesday at 12pm but, unless the DUP drops its stance, the bid to restore the devolved legislature will end in failure.

Several previous attempts to reconstitute the Assembly have already failed as the DUP has not supported the election of a speaker at the outset of the sittings.

Without a speaker in place, the Assembly cannot proceed with further business.

The DUP has refused to engage with the devolved institutions in Belfast in the wake of May’s election, meaning it has not been possible to form a ministerial executive.

The boycott is part of the DUP’s campaign of opposition to Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol and the party says it will not return to powersharing until decisive action is taken to remove the protocol’s economic barriers on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Negotiations between the UK Government and the EU to resolve differences over the protocol are continuing.

No chance of another election before Christmas

While there were calls from certain sections of the North for another election, Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris confirmed earlier this year that there will not be another one before the end of the year, something described by Alliance Party leader Naomi Long as a “miracle”.

The 24-week deadline for forming a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly and power sharing executive following May’s election ran out at the start of November. 

The UK Government then assumed responsibility to call an election within 12 weeks.

However, the NI Secretary said that, following conversations with various stakeholders such as local business and community groups, that no election would take place during the festive season. 

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