Robinson resigns 'temporarily' but he is unlikely to come back
By: Niall O'Dowd | Published Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 6:37 PM | Updated Saturday, August 3, 2013, 7:46 PM
Blink and you will miss the latest astonishing revelations in Northern Ireland's politics. Today, it was First Minister Peter Robinson announcing his temporary resignation for six weeks allowing his environment minister Arlene Foster to take over.
All that is legal under the existing laws of the Northern Ireland Assembly but the DUP have cleverly kicked the can down the road on the vital subject of the placing of police and justice powers under the framework of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In six weeks time we will be six weeks closer to the British general election in June which is the real goal here for the DUP. They want to make it to that election and not to allow the TUV, the Traditional Unionist Voice party ,eat away at their vote share.The TUV led by DUP dissident Jim Allister is seeking to end the power sharing government .
The latest move puts Sinn Fein in a tough bind. They were close to quitting because Robinson would not move on the devolution of policing .This latest crisis makes it almost impossible for them to quit now and they will have to see it out.
Meanwhile I doubt Robinson will be back. The political damage within his notoriously conservative party of his wife's racy revelations seems far too much. I expect his deputy Nigel Dodds to take over .