LONDON (AP) — Legislators returned to Northern Ireland’s assembly Saturday for the first time in three years after a deal was struck to restore the divided region’s mothballed power-sharing government. Lawmakers gathered at Parliament Buildings in Belfast and chose a new executive, led by the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish nationalists Sinn Fein. Legislators picked DUP leader Arlene Foster as first minister — a post she held before the previous assembly was dissolved — with Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neil as deputy leader. After three years of acrimony that left Northern Ireland with a stack of unresolved issues and a growing public-sector crisis, the parties agreed Friday to a deal brokered by the U.K. and Irish governments to revive the regional government. Northern Ireland — part of the U.K. along with England, Wales and Scotland — has been without a functioning administration since the power-sharing government set up after a 1998 peace accord fell apart in January 2017 over a botched green-energy project. The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues separating Northern Ireland’s British unionists and its Irish nationalists, the two communities whose conflicting identities and aspirations fueled years of violence in which more than 3,000… Read full this story
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