DUBLIN – The Irish nationalist Sinn Féin party says it’s determined to force Northern Ireland to hold a new election, part of a showdown with Protestant leaders over the British territory’s unraveling unity government.
Sinn Féin leaders emerged Wednesday from a Belfast meeting with Britain’s Cabinet minister for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, saying they had no interest in pursuing negotiations until after a new election.
Northern Ireland’s nearly decade-old government will formally collapse Monday if Sinn Féin, the Irish Catholic side of the coalition, refuses to nominate a successor to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The former IRA commander resigned this week following months of disputes with his Protestant partner atop the government, First Minister Arlene Foster.
Brokenshire is meeting with Foster and others Wednesday in hopes of brokering an election-averting compromise.