Brian Feeney looks at the wider scenario and suggests that no matter how elections turn out in May there will be no First and Deputy First Minister or an Executive until the Belfast Agreement is subject to the re-negotiation process required by the current demands of the DUP and the Donaldson faction of the UUP.
He believes that the Agreement, as it stands, no longer has any effective support in any of the Unionist parties. Consequently there will be no acts of completion from the IRA this side of the scheduled May elections.
“Just suppose there are elections in May following some republican act of completion. The DUP will be fighting an election on the simple demand for re-negotiation. The UUP message will be a dogs dinner and its candidates in disarray, though watch Trimble under pressure from Donaldson edge towards the DUP on re-negotiation.”
“Will a new assembly elect an executive? No. The reason is very simple. If you look at the UUP candidates selected, youll see Trimble could not deliver unionist consent in a new assembly any more than he can at present. Instead, a malign combination of the DUP and UUP dissidents will control unionist consent.”