Jim Allister’s latest attack on the the current agreement is one he has been developing for some time. He was the first to warn (in November 2006) of the potential for an SF First Minister following the change in the legislation after the St. Andrew’s Agreement. The arguments over the change in the rules which ceased to make the First Minister come from the largest party of the largest designation in Stromont and changed it to simply the largest party have been rehearsed repeatedly. Allister’s charge has consistently been that this change was acquiesced to or even encouraged by the DUP to allow them to duress unionists into voting DUP lest SF be the largest party and, hence, gain the First Ministership.
When he launched the TUV manifesto, Jim Allister promised that any TUV MPs would work along side any other unionists to try to ensure that the legislation be changed back so that again the First Minister would come from the largest party of the largest designation. This position has been agreed to by the CUs. However, as yet the DUP have not responded. It may be that they just have not bothered yet. However, cynics might suggest that they are waiting for the outcome of this election and might yet hope to revive the tactic of trying to force unionists to vote for them to prevent an SF First Minister: a possibility they helped create. Pretty Machiavellian and good tactics: yet again hopeless long term strategy.