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However, it is not the existence of STV in Northern Ireland that gives rise to a coalition government there. Rather, it was a fundamental principle of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement that there should be inclusive power-sharing within the Executive. Therefore, by law, Ministerial portfolios are allocated using the d'Hondt formula, which allocates seats on the Executive according to party strength within the Assembly. In addition, the largest party in each of the unionist and nationalist designations are able to nominate the First and Deputy First Ministers.

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