The Sunday Times does not so much question the validity Sinn Fein’s mandate, but it lays out what it believes to the voluntary limitations a democratic party should take to itself:
Put simply, Sinn Fein seems to believe that because people vote for the party, it is above the law. It is not. Gerry Adams, its president, needs to understand that democracy requires his party to embrace the rule of law and to root out the criminality that blights the republican movement. Every time he and his colleagues opt for denial instead of responsibility, falling back on their mandate as justification for their inclusion in the democratic process, the Sinn Fein leadership erodes trust and credibility. It may play well in hardcore republican areas but it rings hollow across the rest of the land.