Northern Ireland Election March 2 – Martin McGuinness leaves politics

Northern Ireland Election March 2
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Northern Ireland Election March 2.  Martin McGuinness is to stand down from politics altogether and will not be standing in the election. Illness is part of the reason for ending his political career.

Ealier, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said he was legally obliged to call an election after negotiations on power sharing failed in Stormont.

Stormont was plunged into crisis after the resignation of Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister last week.  He had been accused of mis-dealings with the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, which is likely to cost taxpayers £490m.

Mr McGuinness stood down after DUP leader Arlene Foster refused to stand aside as first minster while an investigation was carried out into the RHI affair.

But the row over the scheme has resurfaced a range of other issues, including the Irish language and gay rights, which divide the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)/Sinn Féin power-sharing executive.

As they hold a joint office, his resignation automatically put the DUP leader out of her job. His resignation triggered a seven-day period whereby if a deal was not reached, an election would have to be called

Monday January 16 was a political disaster for Northern Ireland. Sinn Féin did not nominate a deputy first minister to replace Mr McGuinness, causing the devolved Stormont institutions to fall.

Take a look at how the day went.  Video BBCNI

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