Northern Ireland gets one more month to form government

James Brokenshire, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, extended the deadline for Irish nationalists Sinn Fein and British Unionist Democratic parties to form a power-sharing government, Monday, March 27.

The two parties have shared power in the region for 10 years but could not form a government after March 2 elections.

If the two sides cannot form a government, London may be forced to assume control.

Brokenshire has extended the negotiations for an extra month, rather than risk embroiling U.K. PM Theresa May in the dispute while she is trying to steward the U.K. through Brexit negotiations.

Brokenshire said he believes there is “an overwhelming desire among the political parties and the public” for joint government.

The existing government broke down after a green energy plan, Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive. went awry, costing the government US$125.6 billion (half a billion pounds).

When the project failed, then-Sinn Fein leader and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness called on First Minister and DUP head Arlene Foster to step aside while the incident was investigated.

She refused, he resigned, and new elections were called.

Rather than seeking to repair the rift, both parties have decided to push their personal programs and revive old political vendettas.