By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday her government is treating the political situation in Northern Ireland with "the utmost seriousness".
Speaking in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions, May told
"The legislation is that if within seven days we don't have a nomination for a deputy first minister, then the matter would go to an election," the British premier added.
The political situation in Belfast entered the U.K.’s national agenda following the resignation of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on Monday evening.
McGuinness stepped down over a financial mismanagement scandal involving his opposite number, First Minister Arlene Foster.
Power-sharing rules in the divided territory mean if the Deputy First Minister stands down, the First Minister is also forced out of their position.
“Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke about working together for a solution to the situation in Northern Ireland,” a government statement also said.
First Minister Foster said on Tuesday she was willing to hold talks with McGuinness' Sinn Fein party to prevent a collapse of the local
Calling McGuinness’s resignation “not principled”, Foster, the Democratic Unionist Party leader, added she was ready to support a public inquiry into the botched green energy scheme which could cost taxpayers almost £ 500 million ($613 million).
Foster underlined she was not afraid of elections to a new Assembly.