The serving Principal Deputy Speaker and former Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane will be standing down at the next election.
Speaking about her decision 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.
“During that time I have had the pleasure of serving as Education Minister, abolishing the eleven plus exam, tackling underachievement, improving educational attainment and excellence for all, investing in the Irish medium sector and delivering the largest school building programme in decades.
“I was also proud to promote equality issues in the Assembly at every opportunity; equality for the LGB&T community, for Irish language speakers and for women. As a lifelong feminist I was honoured to have been selected twice by all parties to chair the Assembly’s women’s caucus.
“I was also privileged to serve as Principal Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
“I have now decided not to put my name forward for selection for the next Assembly election.“I have now decided not to put my name forward for selection for the next Assembly election.
Her constituency colleague is Chris Hazzard the current Infrastructure Minister.
In May, the party ran three candidates with local activist Michael Gray-Sloan missing out on a seat in South Down.