Fresh election or direct rule looms as Northern Ireland talks fall apart

By Ian Graham BELFAST (Reuters) – Northern Ireland could be set for a fresh election or a return to direct British rule of the province after the two main parties in negotiations to form a new government said on Sunday that talks had run their course without success. The British province’s nationalist and unionist parties have until Monday to form a new power-sharing government after snap elections this month or risk decision-making being taken back to London for the first time since 2007. Sinn Fein, the province’s largest nationalist party, said that no substantive progress had been made on any of the key issues responsible for the impasse and that it would not support nominations to form a new regional executive.

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