Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Government falls, territory faces March vote

Published:Tuesday | January 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness arriving at Stormont in Northern Ireland, yesterday.


Britain's Cabinet minister for Northern Ireland says the territory's unravelling unity government must be dissolved and an early election will be held on March 2.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire told reporters on Monday that he had no power to compel the opposite sides in Northern Ireland's nearly decade-old government coalition to keep working together as the territory's 1998 peace accord intended.

Brokenshire expressed hope that the Irish Catholics of Sinn Fein and the British Protestants of the Democratic Unionist Party would repair their broken relationship following the vote, which comes just 10 months after a previous election.

He spoke hours after Sinn Fein refused to fill its top post in the two-party government, denounced its Democratic Unionist partners as corrupt and bigoted, and called for a new vote.