The Irish Times
THE OUTCOME of Wednesday's Ulster Unionist executive meeting was as depressing as it was predictable. Attention now switches to the sitting of the Stormont assembly later today, where the prospects of a breakthrough seem more remote than ever.
Irish News, Belfast
THE LONG-SUFFERING people of Ulster should prepare on Thursday morning for one of the most surreal days ever witnessed in this land of the politically bizarre.The Secretary of State, who is almost certainly about to depart for pastures new, will trigger the process designed to result in devolution - in the knowledge that the politicians who must run the country cannot agree on who should be in government and who should not.
The Newsletter, Belfast
ALTHOUGH THE emphasis has been on guarantees for Unionists, the Act is designed to give guarantees to Nationalists as well that the Good Friday Agreement will in fact be implemented. The more Unionists demand additional safeguards, the more this is interpreted as unwillingness to share power, and the more difficult it makes it for the Sinn Fein leadership to bring its own doubters along.
UNLESS A miracle takes place, the Assembly is history. The Unionists want clear IRA commitments on decommissioning, fail-safe devices put in place by the Government, and a cast-iron promise from the SDLP that they will not accept Sinn Fein in Government if the IRA have not commenced decommissioning, as their price for forming an Executive. They have some hope and no hope of banking such demands. (E Mallie)
Belfast TelegraphReuse content