Thursday, July 15, 1999 Published at 01:58 GMT 02:58 UK
Northern Ireland's day of reckoning
No way: Ulster Unionists reject the Way Forward plan
The Northern Ireland Assembly meets on Thursday for its most crucial session yet - the day parties will be asked to nominate ministers for the new executive.
But this debate might not go ahead.
So far it has failed to receive the required 30 signatures to ensure that the motion will be discussed by the 108-member Assembly.
The motion has 29 signatories from the unionist "No" camp.
They include 20 Democratic Unionist Party members, four Northern Ireland Unionist Party members, three United Unionist representatives, the sole UKUP member, Bob McCartney MP, and the dissident UUP member, Peter Weir.
The debate is scheduled to get under way at 1030 BST, but unless its supporters secure another signature before then, the Presiding Officer, Lord Alderdice, will move to the next item.
Nominations may be postponed
This is the nomination of ministers under the D'Hondt procedure.
If this were to go ahead, the parties' seats in the executive would be as follows:
The likelihood is that the Ulster Unionists will not nominate any ministers, after Wednesday's rejection of the latest peace process legislation.
The legislation, due to become law on Thursday at Westminster, will put the peace process under review if any party fails to commit itself to the devolution of power.
This would, in the words of Prime Minister Tony Blair, put the process back to where it was before the conclusion of the latest Stormont negotiations on 1 July.
But if there is a successful triggering of D'Hondt, the ministers would be nominated to the following portfolios.
If a new executive is formed, the proceedings of the Assembly would be adjourned until 16 July.
This is to give parties time to prepare for nominations - also under d'Hondt - for the committee chairs and committee members of the Assembly.
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