Northern Ireland’s local elections this Thursday could affect the ongoing political deadlock in the United Kingdom over Brexit.
“Although these are local elections, they certainly have added significance because there is no government in place at Stormont. [sede do parlamento norte-irlandês]”, political scientist Jamie Pau, professor of political science at Queen’s University Belfast, told Lusa.
Since February last year, after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was overthrown in the province, the European Union (EU) has forced the British government to renegotiate the protocol in the region under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Unionists also rejected the Windsor Framework Agreement put forward by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this year, which was supposed to solve problems with the movement of goods with the rest of the United Kingdom.
“The DUP wants the municipal election results to put pressure on the UK government to renegotiate,” explained the political scientist.
However, he added, “if the DUP’s message fails and loses support, it will improve the position of other parties who want Stormont to immediately restore devolved government”.
The party is campaigning to focus on unionist votes who want Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom.