Northern Ireland will hold snap election on March 2

Jen Mills
Stormont, Belfast (Picture: AP)
Northern Ireland will vote to elect a new Assembly on March 2, after Martin McGuinness resigned.
The Deputy First Minister, from Sinn Fein, quit in protest at how he says the government wasted millions on a renewable energy scheme, believed to have cost taxpayers £490m.
His decision plunged the power sharing system in Stormont into crisis.
The government in Northern Ireland works by ensuring both Protestant and Catholic parties have equal power, a deal to end decades of conflict.
McGuinness, a veteran of Sinn Fein, which wants a united Ireland, said politicians from rivals the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) were to blame for the scandal.
DUP First Minister Arlene Foster repeatedly refused to step down to ease the way for an investigation.
Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy (centre) holds a press conference in the Great Hall of Stormont in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 16, 2017. See PA story ULSTER RHI. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy (centre) holds a press conference in the Great Hall of Stormont today (Picture: PA)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JANUARY 16: Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness arrives at Stormont on January 16, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland politics have been plunged into crisis following the RHI Cash for Ash controversy, a renewable heat scheme introduced by the then DETI minister Arlene Foster which could see the Northern Ireland taxpayer facing a bill of over £400 million pounds due to a flaw in the scheme. The resignation of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness last week and a failure to re-nominate a Sinn Fein candidate for the position by 5pm today will trigger a snap election. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
Martin McGuinness arriving at Stormont today (Picture: Getty)
Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster speaking before an Assembly Plenary Session at Stormont in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 16, 2017. See PA story ULSTER RHI. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Arlene Foster speaking today (Picture: PA)
She was accused of mismanagement of a government ‘green energy’ program, the Renewable Heat Incentive, that Foster eventually suspended as part of her previous Cabinet post.
McGuinness is a former Irish Republican Army commander who has helped to lead the unity government for nearly a decade.
He said in his resignation letter that he intends to trigger early elections in protest.
In his resignation letter, he accused Foster of ignoring ‘a public mood that is rightly outraged at the squandering of public money and allegations of misconduct and corruption.’
Foster survived a no-confidence vote in the Assembly last month solely because of backing from her own party benches.
‘That position is not credible or tenable,’ McGuinness said in his resignation letter addressed to Assembly Speaker Robin Newton.
McGuinness had earlier said Sinn Fein would refuse to nominate a successor to fill his position, which wields equal power to Foster’s in the system designed to promote consensus across the community divide.
Northern Ireland will hold snap election on March 2 Reviewed by Bizpodia on 21:39 Rating: 5

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