04:10 GMT +314 October 2019
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    A picture shows the Parliament Buildings, the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, on the Stormont Estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 4, 2017

    Northern Ireland Faces Return to Direct Rule From London – Lawmaker

    © AFP 2019 / Paul FAITH
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    The chances are growing that Northern Ireland may return to a direct rule from London if the deadlock on a power-sharing deal continues, unionist lawmaker Jeffrey Donaldson said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The devolved government has been unable to pick an executive amid wrangling between the nationalist Sinn Fein party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which must appoint a first minister and their deputy.

    "We are in the talks, we are negotiating… but as things stand at the moment I have to be honest with you I think we are heading towards direct rule," DUP’s Donaldson told the BBC broadcaster.

    The crisis started when Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness quit as deputy prime minister over DUP’s handling of a Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, effectively ending First Minister Arlene Foster’s term in office.

    James Brokenshire, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland in the UK government, reportedly warned the rival parties they had to reach an agreement by early May or face a snap parliamentary election and possibly direct rule.

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