Politician: Protestant party badly split over new Belfast power-sharing deal; 39 pc say ‘no’By Shawn Pogatchnik, AP
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Politician: Protestant split over new Belfast deal
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A senior Northern Ireland politician says his Protestant party is deeply divided over a proposed new power-sharing deal with Catholics, imperiling efforts to sustain the unity government.
The Democratic Unionist Party lawmaker spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because all 36 DUP lawmakers in the Northern Ireland Assembly are under orders not to tell journalists how they voted on the plan.
The politician says he and 13 others, representing 39 percent of Democratic Unionist lawmakers, rejected it.
He says several also threatened to quit the party if Democratic Unionist leader Peter Robinson accepts the current terms for salvaging his 2 1/2-year-old administration with the Catholics of Sinn Fein.
Negotiations continue Tuesday.
Tags: Belfast, Europe, Geography, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Religious Issues, United Kingdom, Western Europe