Edwin Poots’s brief tenure as DUP leader has come to an abrupt and somewhat farcical end. The nature of his rapid rise and fall, however, underlines the deep instability, not just in his party, but in the ‘peace process’ as a whole.
Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill have been nominated as First and Deputy First Minister, following the British government’s commitment to introduce Irish language legislation over the heads of the Stormont politicians, and despite the opposition of a large majority of DUP MLAs in an internal vote.
While the institutions may stumble on for now, however, this crisis is not over. These events - and the deep divisions within the DUP - reflect the reality that the ‘peace process’ has entered a new and turbulent phase.