Jim Allister has urged the electorate not to play the DUP “game” by voting to restore Arlene Foster as First Minister “under duress”.
The TUV leader made his comments as he attacked what he called “the dishonesty of the ‘Keep Arlene First Minister’ pitch”.
Mr Allister said: “If the DUP is sincere in wanting to keep McGuinness away from the paper title of ‘First Minister’, then why won’t they pledge not to nominate a Deputy First Minister, because McGuinness could only be First Minister if the DUP nominates a deputy. That is the law. The fact the DUP won’t make this pledge demonstrates their scaremongering is designed solely to obtain votes by duress.”
Peter Weir of the DUP said Mrs Foster was “the best leader to take this country forward”, and added: “If the DUP is not the largest party then we will not have first pick of departments and we will have fewer ministers. The reality is that Jim Allister wants to wreck Stormont and take us back to direct rule where we would have no influence.
“It is clear that the First Minister will either be Arlene Foster or Martin MCGuinness and this election allows the public to make a choice.”