Northern Ireland announces snap assembly elections

Voting will take place on March 2 after collapse of power-sharing government over a contentious green energy scheme.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness from the Sinn Fein party resigned in protest after Democratic Unionist First Minister Arlene Foster refused to temporarily stand down to allow for an investigation into a botched green energy scheme.

Updated Jan 17, 2017

The collapse of Northern Ireland's power-sharing government resulted in a call for snap assembly elections.

The crisis was triggered after Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned last week over differences with First Minister Arlene Foster over an investigation into a clean energy scheme. His party, Sinn Fein, refused to nominate another deputy within the stipulated seven day period, prompting a fresh round of elections.

Elections will take place on March 2, Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire announced on Monday after it became clear Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionist parties could not come to a compromise.

The last day for the current assembly will be January 25.

McGuinness resigned in protest against Foster's refusal to temporarily step down so a controversial green-energy scheme could be investigated. Foster, who is from the Democratic Unionist party, was the enterprise minister when the "cash for ash" scheme was rolled out. Now suspended, the scheme will cost taxpayers more than half-a-billion pounds.


TRTWorld and agencies