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18.06.2021 00:27 News >> Leader Of Northern Ireland's Largest Unionist Party Resigns

Leader Of Northern Ireland's Largest Unionist Party Resigns

Edwin Poots was in his position less than a month, and his resignation points to severe post Brexit turbulence in region.

Edwin Poots, the leader of Northern Ireland's largest party, announced his resignation Thursday after less than a month in the position.
"I have asked the party chairman to commence an electoral process within the party to allow for a new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to be elected," he said in a statement.
"The party has asked me to remain in post until my successor is elected.
"This has been a difficult period for the party and the country, and I have conveyed to the chairman my determination to do everything I can to ensure both unionism and Northern Ireland is able to move forward to a stronger place," he added.
His decision came after a bruising meeting with DUP members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and members of parliament (MPs) – the former being representatives in the Northern Irish devolved legislature and the latter representatives in the national Westminster parliament.
A large majority of them voted against his decision to resume power sharing with their rivals Sinn Fein, a republican nationalist party that is the second-largest in Northern Ireland.
They opposed his nomination of a first minister for Northern Ireland.
The decision to nominate a first minister and resume devolved governance was only possible after the process was saved following a crisis over laws on Irish language rights, with the British government offering to agree to Sinn Fein's demands to legislate for it from Westminster, a move bitterly opposed by the unionist DUP.
Northern Ireland in general, and the unionist community in particular, is facing severe turbulence after the British government's Brexit deal with the European Union included a Northern Ireland protocol that placed a trade barrier down the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland – a move that was anathema to the unionist community. -



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