The new Northern Ireland Executive

The new ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive have now been announced.  Excluding the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, there are four for the DUP, three for Sinn Fein, one each for the UUP and SDLP, and two (the cross-community approved Justice Minister, and one under D’Hondt) for the Alliance.  The DUP have claimed Finance and Personnel, and left Sammy Wilson in post but only for two years.  After that, he is to be replaced by Simon Hamilton.  The DUP also took the Health and Social Development portfolios (the latter including housing, and responsibility for a number of welfare benefits), which will increase pressure on the DUP to support both those expensive portfolios.  All three SF ministers are new faces, even though they held one of those portfolios (Education) during the last Assembly.

There’s news coverage from the BBC here, from the Irish Times here, and from Slugger O’Toole here.  Profiles of the new ministers from the Irish Times are here and here.

One surprise of the elections was that the Alliance qualified for a ministry under D’Hondt.   (Close followers of Norther Ireland politics will know that that was a consequence of David McLarty, a former UUP MLA, being re-elected as an independent but declining to rejoin his colleagues; had he done so, the UUP would have got a second ministry.)  There’s discussion from Slugger here of what the Alliance’s control of the Department of Employment and Learning might mean in policy terms.

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Filed under Elections, Northern Ireland

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