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BELFAST, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister McGuinness will resign from his post in protest against his power-sharing government partners' handling of a controversial energy scheme, McGuinness said on Monday.
McGuinness's nationalist Sinn Fein party had called on First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the province's largest pro-British party, to step aside while an investigation take place into the botched scheme it says could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.
"The First Minister has refused to stand aside. Therefore it is with deep regret and reluctance that I am tendering my resignation as deputy First Minister. We now need an election to allow the people to make their own judgement," McGuinness said in a statement. (Reporting by Amanda Ferguson, writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)