So, I’ve been wondering. Why have the DUP elected to roll in and out and out of office on a seven day cycle?
Well, perhaps it’s to make sure that if anything urgent comes up then they can be seen to deal with it by signing off, just as Health Minister Simon Hamilton has done over the funding of specialist drugs.
According to legislation a party has seven days after a ministerial resignation before it falls to the Assembly (rather than the Executive) to ensure that that post is filled by running dHondt.
Thus this merry-go-round, as David puts it, is a defence not against an election – the retention of the First Minister’s role is enough to prevent that from happening – but against the Assembly running dHondt and other parties taking those jobs.
Which begs an interesting question of Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin. Why hasn’t he forced the Assembly to appoint a new DRD Minister? [It’s not as though he hasn’t been there before . – Ed]
UPDATE: It’s happening Monday, durr, because this is the first opportunity…
DUP will take DRD Minister job on Monday and then resign.
— Ken Reid (@KenReid_utv) September 16, 2015
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty