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Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness (right) shakes hands with Northern Ireland's Education Minister John O'Dowd, after Mr McGuinness was announced as the party's candidate for the Irish Presidency Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Race for the Áras

O'Dowd named as McGuinness replacement

The Stormont Education Minister will be nominated as temporary deputy first minister today.

MARTIN MCGUINNESS WILL be replaced as deputy first minister by Stormont Education Minister John O’Dowd.

O’Dowd will be nominated as temporary deputy first minister today, and BBC News reports this move does not require the approval of any party other than Sinn Fein.

McGuinness confirmed yesterday that he is to step down from his role to pursue a bid to become the next President of Ireland.

He said that he would only draw down an average wage if elected, returning the bulk of his salary “directly” to the people of Ireland.

This is because he believes “a president should lead by example”, and he added he hopes to be seen as an “inspirational” figure for his work in Northern Ireland.

“I stand to my record as a peacemaker,” he said.

Four independent TDs have said they will sign McGuinness’s nomination papers – Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Michael Healy-Rae, Tom Fleming and Finian McGrath.

Tom Elliott, Ulster Unionist party leader, told BBC News that “it would help” if McGuinness came clean about his involvement with the IRA.

DUP MP Ian Paisley also commented on McGuinness, saying if “problem politicians export themselves to the south of Ireland” it is not a bad thing as it enables “new blood” to enter the Northern Irish political scene.

Read: O’Dowd to replace McGuinness as deputy first minister>

Read: Martin McGuinness: ‘Let them examine my record’>

Read: Kerry TDs, Flanagan and McGrath back McGuinness, but who’s backing Norris?>

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