Editor's Viewpoint: An honourable act
Margaret Ritchie's decision to stand down from leading the SDLP is no great surprise given the disquiet within the ranks over its poor performance in the last elections.
But even her detractors will have to admit that she is a sincere and compassionate woman with a strong record in community politics as her constituents will attest.
However in the final analysis she was perhaps not the leader that the party needs at a time when its fortunes are at a low ebb.
It needs someone who can make it significantly different from Sinn Fein in competition for the nationalist vote and who can transform it into a strong dissenting voice at Stormont.