Peter Robinson, head of the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, will step down in coming weeks, after helping resolve the latest row to hamper the executive.
Robinson, 66, took over from Ian Paisley as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and first minister of Northern Ireland’s government in 2008. The pro-U.K. union DUP shares power with Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army.
Robinson laid out his plans in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, which was retweeted by the DUP.
“I have told the party officers that I don’t intend to fight the next Assembly election for a wide range of reasons,” Robinson said. “I very much take the two-term view of politics at the top.”
Northern Ireland’s political leaders this week reached a new accord after months of talks. Robinson, who suffered from a heart condition this year, told the Belfast Telegraph that he’s stepping down as many of his objectives had been achieved, including a date for the potential devolution of corporate taxes.
The power-sharing government stemmed from the 1998 Good Friday Agreement between Catholic nationalists who wanted a united Ireland and largely Protestant unionists who favored continued ties with the U.K.
Finance Minister Arlene Foster may succeed Robinson as First Minister, with