By-elections called after the resignation of the Unionists did not give voters a clear choice because of the reluctance of other parties to challenge them. No Unionist candidate rejected another, while the SDLP and Sinn Féin ran for only the four seats, where the majority of votes for nationalist candidates had been voted on in previous elections. The SDLP has rejected an offer by Sinn Féin to enter into a nationalist electoral pact against the Unionist electoral pact. [32] The SDLP was given the seat of Newry and Armagh. The alliance has formally committed to fighting all seats on a platform to support the agreement, but some local branches have refused to choose candidates. The Workers` Party sat on a few seats. In four constituencies where no party would oppose the Unionist MP, a certain Wesley Robert Williamson changed his name by a poll in “Peter Barry” (the name of the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs) and appeared on the label “For the Anglo-Irish Agreement”, but did not campaign. Despite this, he received nearly 7,000 votes and saved three deposits. The Unionist parties between them won more than 400,000 votes and more than 71% of the overall survey, but as there were no by-elections in the stubborn nationalist seats of West Belfast and Foyle, this figure is distorted. [Citation required] Power-sharing continued until October 15. As the disarming provision of the agreement was not implemented, the DUP filed an application to exclude Sinn Fein from the government.

The nationalists argued that they would not disarm under the conditions set by trade unionists, and for this reason the confidence between the Unionists and the nationalists collapsed, leading to the suspension of the Assembly and the Executive from 15 October 2002. In the context of political violence during the riots, the agreement forced participants to find “exclusively democratic and peaceful means to resolve political differences.” Two aspects were taken into account: the Good Friday Agreement provided for the creation of the Independent International Commission for Decommissioning (IICD), which would oversee, review and examine the complete disarmament of all paramilitary organizations.