The leader of Northern Ireland's Alliance Party says the DUP are playing games with people's lives and livelihoods, after effectively paralysing the Stormont Executive.
Naomi Long was speaking following the resignation of Northern Ireland's First Minister, the DUP's Paul Givan, in protest over the Northern Ireland Protocol as a result of Brexit.
Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill, is automatically removed from her post as a result.
While the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, Maroš Šefčovič, says checks are continuing on goods coming from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.
Ms Long told Newstalk Breakfast this DUP move is a politically motivated one.
"Every 48 hours tends to be a bit hectic in Northern Ireland politics, but this has been a particularly low point I think over the last 48 hours.
"I believe what the DUP have done is a cynical election ploy, and they are playing games with people's lives and people's livelihoods.
"Everywhere else people in Northern Ireland are facing into a cost of living crisis, here in Northern Ireland we have some of the longest waiting lists for our hospitals anywhere in western Europe.
"Our public services are groaning after 10 years of austerity and two years of the pandemic."
And she says the DUP should have worked through the last few months of the assembly, considering it was suspended for the first three years.
"Instead of allowing us to work through the next few months the DUP have upturned the table and taken their toys away.
"And it just seems to be like a very self-indulgent move, electorally motivated, party motivated - but certainly not in the interest of Northern Ireland."
However Ms Long says bringing forward elections there, as suggested by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, may not be the best move.
"No I don't agree with it - and it's not because of any fear about the election.
"I think the one thing that most commentators agree on is that Alliance is likely to gain in the elections.
"So we're ready for an election if it happens tomorrow, if it happens at the end of March and if it happens at the start of May.
"But there are things here that we can salvage".
'Pick up the pieces of what the DUP smashed'
She says the assembly should finish its current sitting.
"There is work that can be done, and it is my view that we should finish the job we started.
"I have two major pieces of legislation in front of the assembly at the minute - I want to get those finished.
"So I say we adults in the room need to pick up the pieces of what the DUP has smashed up, and try and put something together.
"This shouldn't be about Sinn Féin seeking party political advantage in the election.
"This should be about us acting like mature politicians and trying to deliver for the people who elected us."
She adds: "I feel like, in Northern Ireland, we have got obsessed with going to job interviews: but when we actually get the job, nobody's willing to step up and do it".