One of Sinn Fein’s highest profile figures MLA Caitríona Ruane has said she will not be putting her name forward for selection for the next Assembly election.
Ms Ruane is presently the principal deputy speaker, under Robin Newton, and is a veteran of Stormont, having been education minister from 2007 until 2011.
Sinn Fein made the announcement on Sunday.
In a statement, she said: “It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of South Down in the Assembly for the last 14 years.
“Over the years I have been involved in assisting the growth and development of the peace process to create a better society for all our citizens.”
She thanked her husband, children, and grandchild, but did not give reasons for the decision not to stand in her statement.
It continued: “This will be a hugely important election and it is vital that people have the opportunity to call time on the DUP’s arrogance and put respect and equality at the heart of the political institutions.
“I want to thank all of the people of South Down and the party in the area for the support and trust they have shown me over the years and I look forward to the continued growth of Sinn Fein in the area.”