However the underlying reason may be that in the absense of moves on the long awaited decommissioning of the IRA, he may feel he is leaving himself vulnerable to political counter moves whilst caught inside the negotiating chamber.
The Sinn Fein negotiating team, for instance, is led by the former Education Minister Martin McGuinness, which leaves the party president, Gerry Adams, free to co-ordinate the party outside the confines of the overall political process.
There is no equivalent office in the Ulster Unionist party; party and political leadership are vested in the one person.
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