of the Republic of Ireland wished otherwise. Unionism disunited, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP the largest political party in Northern Ireland at the time, refused to engage directly with negotiators from Sinn Fin, the political wing of the IRA. Elections to a new 108-member assembly to sit in the Parliament Buildings at Stormont swiftly followed on The assembly would be the centre of power in the new Northern Ireland and would elect the new power-sharing executive. It was rejected by the unionist parties. Prior to the agreement, the body was composed of parliamentarians from the British and Irish parliaments only. Belfast on, good Friday, : a multi-party agreement by most of Northern Ireland's political parties (the.
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Although Paisley was the official head of the government, he and Martin McGuinness held equal powers. An election was called by Secretary of State for Northern James Brokenshire, whereby the DUP and Sinn Fin were returned as the largest parties, and so began a countdown of talks between both leaders before devolved government could be restored. The canada, A New Friend British-Irish Agreement came into force on 2 December 1999 with the help of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. By the words "people of Northern Ireland" the Agreement meant "all persons born in Northern Ireland and having, at the time of their birth, at least one parent who is a British citizen, an Irish citizen or is otherwise entitled to reside in Northern Ireland. It was established "to develop consultation, co-operation and action" in twelve areas of mutual interest. In order to protect North-South co-operation and avoid controls on the Irish border, the UK agreed to protect the Agreement in all its parts and "in the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market. Shortly after the ceremony, at 10:30 am, the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern signed the declaration formally amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution. The Northern Ireland political parties who endorsed the agreement were also asked to consider the establishment of an independent consultative forum representative of civil society with members with expertise in social, cultural, economic and other issues and appointed by the two administrations.