Gerry Adams plans to cling to the Sinn Fein leadership for at least another three years, despite already being in the job for three decades.
The Sinn Fein president is kick-starting a long-term campaign by the party to have a referendum in Northern Ireland by 2020 on the creation of a united Ireland.
Mr Adams dismissed suggestions he was too divisive a figure to front such a campaign given his association to the Troubles and alleged past as an IRA leader. And he did not accept his baggage means he should pass the leadership to a member of the younger generation.
He said he will step down as leader "when the time comes". "But that time isn't now. I have work to do," he said.