Northern Ireland on verge of breaking Guinness World record for having no government
Northern Ireland is close to achieving an unwanted world record for a democracy going without an elected government.
Belgium holds the current record of 541 days without an elected government from 2010 - which got the country into the Guinness World Records book.
Northern Ireland has been without government for more than 500 days after the Assembly collapsed in January 2017- around 30 days from beating Belgium's record.
The Irish and British governments have said there will be a new round of talks in autumn in an attempt to restore power-sharing, but Northern Ireland's two largest parties- the DUP and Sinn Fein- remain hopelessly deadlocked on issues such as language rights, gay marriage and legacy issues.
Who is actually making decisions in Northern Ireland has remained unclear after the High Court ruled that the permanent secretary of the Department for Infrastructure, Peter May, did not have the power to grant planning permission for a £240m waste treatment centre and incinerator at Hightown Quarry in Mallusk, Co Antrim.
The decision had been made in the absence of a minister following the collapse of power-sharing.
DUP leader Arlene Foster later called for Theresa May's Government to start taking decisions for Northern Ireland with little hope remaining of institutions in Northern Ireland being restored.
Belfast Telegraph Digital