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The GFA, as modified by the 2007 St. Andrews Agreement, specifies that the First and Deputy First ministers be nominated by the largest party of any designation (unionist, nationalist, other) followed by the second largest party of another designation. (Basically it was a stitch-up by the DUP and SF to ensure they got the top two posts). For the Alliance party to get the deputy post, it would have to be the second largest party.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 10:52:21 AM EST
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Ah, so they can refuse to nominate anyone and the process grinds to a halt.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 17th, 2022 at 01:42:31 PM EST
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You say that like it's a bad thing
Some would say that was the plan all along.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jun 18th, 2022 at 08:34:48 AM EST
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The plan was to inveigle the paramilitaries on all sides into the political process. That worked very well on the nationalist side, but less so on the loyalist side, where there are still thousands of armed loyalists linked to various paramilitary groups under the umbrella of the Loyalist Communities Council.

However it has ossified into a situation where a party with 21% of the vote can hold the entire polity to ransom over an issue that polity has no control over. They are even trying to hold the UK government and EU to ransom over the issue, claiming that the Good Friday Agreement, its institutions, and the peace process will collapse if their demands aren't met.

Somehow Boris has bought the line that the peace process is all about keeping hardline loyalists on board, and everyone else doesn't matter. That may not be entirely unrelated to the fact that there are close links between the DUP and ERG, on whom Boris depends for his political survival.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 18th, 2022 at 10:34:22 AM EST
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