Northern Ireland Assembly: Elections

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 10th December 2018.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Independent, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what criteria she will use in deciding to call a Northern Ireland Assembly election; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of John Penrose John Penrose The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The basis on which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland shall set a date for the election is set out in the Northern Ireland Act 1998. As the Secretary of State has said, we do not believe that holding an election during this time of significant change and political uncertainty would be helpful or would increase the prospects of restoring the Executive.

That is why the NI (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act provides for a limited period during which there is no legal requirement to call a further election and during which an Executive may be formed at any time. This will provide the time and space needed to work with the parties towards a further phase of talks to restore the Executive.

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