NI Executive unlikely to meet as planned tomorrow

The North's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, says he does not expect the power-sharing Executive to meet as scheduled tomorrow.

The comment comes amid an ongoing stand-off between Sinn Féin and the DUP over the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont.

Sinn Féin has been blocking Executive meetings for several months as a result of the row.

A cancellation of tomorrow's gathering would also put Friday's planned North-South Ministerial Council meeting for Armagh in doubt.

Policing and justice powers were supposed to be transferred from London to Stormont last May under the terms of the St Andrew's Agreement that led to the DUP and Sinn Féin agreeing to share power.

However, the DUP has been preventing the move, claiming it needs more time to gain confidence in the IRA's future intentions.

The two sides were due to hold talks this week in an effort to resolve the impasse, but Mr McGuinness's comments suggest little if any progress has been made.

The DUP is accusing Sinn Féin of failing to abide by its ministerial pledges and of obstructing the work of government in the North.

However, Mr McGuinness says the DUP is not living up to its obligations and Sinn Féin will not allow Executive meetings to take place until they are held on the basis of partnership and equality.


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