The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland resigned on Monday, leaving the government in crisis. Martin McGuinness, a former commander in the Irish Resistance Army, held the office of Deputy First Minister since 2007, a position filled in his capacity as leader of the ruling nationalist Sinn Fein party.
The Good Friday agreement, which ended decades of conflict in Ireland, guarantees joint representation of both pro-Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists in the ruling coalition. But with allegations of corruption in the ruling unionist party and Brexit negotiations kicking off in Westminster, Sinn Fein officials hope their leader’s vacancy will force snap elections and give nationalists the top spot in government.
But that scenario might not play out, and the country might find itself back at the drawing board.
For more on what’s next for Ireland, we turn to Nick Kachiroubas, an associate professor at DePaul University’s School of Public Service who studies Northern Ireland.