N. Ireland Politics

Sinn Féin confirm Martin McGuinness for Foyle seat

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has confirmed that he will be seeking election as an MLA for Foyle
Image caption Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has confirmed that he will be seeking election as an MLA for Foyle

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has confirmed that he will be seeking election as an MLA for Foyle.

His decision to stand in his home constituency was rubber-stamped by Sinn Féin at a selection conference in Londonderry.

Mr McGuinness will not be standing in Mid Ulster, where he is currently an MLA.

The party believes the move will help it to win another seat in Foyle.

Speaking at the conference, Mr McGuinness said it "hasn't been an easy decision".

Image caption Sinn Féin believes the move will help it to win another seat in Foyle

"I have served as an MLA and MP in mid-Ulster for 19 years and it has been my great honour and privilege to do so.

"I have a very deep affection for the people of south Derry.

"I leave mid-Ulster with a heavy heart, but I do so safe in the knowledge that Sinn Fein has never been stronger there."

Mr McGuinness said he believes Sinn Féin could emerge in the future as the largest political party in Northern Ireland.

"I believe I can help to build on the fantastic work that Maeve McLaughlin and Raymond McCartney have already been doing.

"I want to see this city and region thriving and making the most of the massive potential that we have here."

Image caption Mr McGuiness said it was "not an easy decision" to stand in Foyle

Martin McGuinness was elected as the MP for Mid Ulster in 1997.

He won an assembly seat in the same constituency the following year.

In the last assembly election, Sinn Féin returned two candidates in Foyle, Martina Anderson and Raymond McCartney, with two and half quotas.

Its overall share of the vote was 1% behind the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), which claimed three seats.

The Democratic Unionist Party has one MLA in Foyle.