Updated: 06/03/17 : 07:07:15
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Stormont power sharing talks begin today

Following Northern Ireland's Assembly election last week, political parties will hold talks at Stormont today to explore if a power-sharing government can be formed.

According to RTÉ, legislation allows for a maximum of three weeks to form a government.

The last administration collapsed in January when Sinn Féin withdrew support for its DUP partner.

After a successful election for Sinn Féin, the ten-seat advantage held by the DUP has been reduced to one.

There will be new dynamics in these negotiations.

A confident Sinn Féin, a chastened DUP, an SDLP now the third largest party, the ten leaderless Ulster Unionists following Mike Nesbitt's resignation, an Alliance under energetic leader Naomi Long.

The talks take place against the backdrop of Brexit, which is likely to have profound effects on Northern Ireland, an issue which may put pressure on the parties to form a government.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed the situation by phone yesterday.