The Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Asse
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The Northern Ireland Assembly

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The Northern Ireland Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly

Politics and Administration

Description

The Northern Ireland Assembly, often referred to by the metonym Stormont, is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive. It sits at Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast.

The Assembly is a unicameral, democratically elected body comprising 90 members known as Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). Members are elected under the single transferable vote form of proportional representation (STV-PR) In turn, the Assembly selects most of the ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive using the principle of power-sharing under the D'Hondt method to ensure that Northern Ireland's largest voting blocs, British unionists and Irish nationalists, both participate in governing the region. The Assembly's standing orders allow for certain contentious motions to require a cross-community vote; in addition to requiring the support of an overall majority of members, such votes must also be supported by a majority within both blocs in order to pass.

The Assembly is one of two "mutually inter-dependent" institutions created under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the other being the North/South Ministerial Council with the Republic of Ireland. The Agreement aimed to end Northern Ireland's violent 30-year Troubles. The first Assembly election was held in June 1998.

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