The Northern Ireland Assembly

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The Northern Ireland Assembly (Irish: Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann,[1] Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlan Assemblie) 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 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.[2] The Agreement aimed at bringing an end to Northern Ireland's violent 30-year Troubles. The Assembly is a unicameral, democratically elected body currently comprising 108 members known as Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs. Members are elected under the single transferable vote form of proportional representation. The Assembly selects most of its ministers using the principle of power-sharing under the D'Hondt method to ensure that Northern Ireland's largest political communities, the unionist and nationalist communities both participate in governing the region. The Assembly has been suspended on several occasions, the longest suspension being from 14 October 2002 until 7 May 2007. When the Assembly was suspended, its powers reverted to the Northern Ireland Office. Following talks that resulted in the St Andrews Agreement being accepted in November 2006, an election to the Assembly was held on 7 March 2007 and full power was restored to the devolved institutions on 8 May 2007.[3] Powers in relation to policing and justice were transferred to the Assembly on 12 April 2010. The third assembly was dissolved on 24 March 2011 in preparation for the elections to be held on Thursday 5 May 2011, this being the first assembly since the Good Friday Agreement to complete a full…...

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