Protestant politicians rejected the Irish Republican Army's mammoth act of disarmament as inadequate, and forecast on Tuesday they would not form a power-sharing government with the IRA's Sinn Fein for years, if ever.
A day after international weapons inspectors announced they had overseen the IRA's full disarmament following eight years of effort, the Rev. Ian Paisley led his deeply skeptical Democratic Unionist Party into talks with the disarmament chief, retired Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain.
At stake is the central dream of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord: a stable Catholic-Protestant administration. One coalition led by a moderate Protestant fell apart in 2002 after the IRA stuck to its guns. Today's ascendant Protestant hard-liners emphasized they wouldn't revive power-sharing until the IRA disbanded, informs the AP.