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Sinn Fein announce executive line-up

Published 24/05/2016

Sinn Fein's Mairtin O Muilleoir is part of the party's ministerial line-up
Sinn Fein's Mairtin O Muilleoir is part of the party's ministerial line-up

Sinn Fein has revealed its ministerial line-up for the next Stormont executive as both it and the Democratic Unionists reiterated their confidence an administration will be formed ahead of Wednesday's deadline.

Assembly members Chris Hazzard, Michelle O'Neill, Mairtin O Muilleoir and Megan Fearon will join Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in the coalition government.

Which specific job they will take will become clear when the formal process of selecting portfolios takes place at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday.

With the Ulster Unionists and SDLP having opted to form an official opposition and the Alliance Party unlikely to re-enter the powersharing executive in the wake of the Assembly election, the DUP and Sinn Fein will dominate the new administration.

However, whether they will have company in the shape of an agreed justice minister is still unclear.

Both the DUP and Sinn Fein have previously vetoed the other taking the job, instead relying on the cross-community Alliance Party to fill the post.

While the DUP and Sinn Fein have held talks with the Green Party and independent Assembly member Claire Sugden about the potential of one of them taking the job, the parties could also opt for a compromise agreement between themselves that would allow one of them, probably the DUP, to take the post.

Announcing his ministerial team, Mr McGuinness said the executive would "in the main" be made up of the DUP and Sinn Fein, prompting speculation that someone outside of the parties could yet take the justice role.

"The fuller picture will emerge tomorrow and will become much clearer," he said.

He added: "While others have walked away from their responsibilities, the Sinn Fein team will work with the other ministers in partnership to deliver for all the people."

Stormont First Minister and Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster said she remained "absolutely" confident an administration including a justice minister would be formed on Wednesday.

"A justice minister will be appointed first and then the other ministers," she said of the Assembly schedule for tomorrow.

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