Former first minister Peter Robinson has warned of a possible return to violence in the North if the political stagnation continues.
The ex-DUP leader was speaking last night at Queen's University in his first lecture since being appointed an honorary professor in peace studies.
Dozens of the university's academics have signed a letter expressing concern over the appointment, referring to his past comments in relation to homosexuality and Islam.
Last night Mr Robinson told Q Radio the stalemate at Stormont has to end.
He said: "It is inevitable when politics has lost its primacy that other people will seek to fill that vacuum.
"Democratic process must take the lead, that is why we must get the assembly and executive up and running again.
Our politicians need to be the ones that are making decisions and giving directions and not leave it open to others who prefer the streets or violence.