The former IRA boss has retired permanently to recover from a serious illness
He quit as Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister last week in protest at Democratic Unionist Party First Minister Arlene Foster's refusal to step aside over a botched green energy scheme.
His party Sinn Fein's refusal to replace him forced a new election, on March 2, for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Mr McGuinness, 66, said he would not stand in it because of ill health, which some reports have identified as a rare heart condition.
But he wants to remain "an ambassador for peace, unity and reconciliation".
His life has taken him from republican terrorist fighting British rule to senior politician dining with the Queen.
The former butcher admits to being second-in-command of the IRA, and was found by an inquiry "probably" to have carried a sub-machine gun, on Bloody Sunday in 1972, when soldiers killed 14 civil rights protesters in Londonderry.
Martin McGuinness has met and dined with Queen Elizabeth II
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness signed the Good Friday agreement in 1998
He served jail time over terror links but was an IRA negotiator in secret talks with the British government in 1972. He became increasingly prominent in the IRA's political wing Sinn Fein and in 1998 with its leader Gerry Adams signed the Good Friday peace deal brokered by Tony Blair.
He was elected a Westminster MP in 1997 but as a Sinn Fein member who will not swear loyalty to the Queen he never took his seat. He was later elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly where as education minster he scrapped the 11-plus exam which he had failed as a boy.
Nearly 10 years ago he became deputy to First Minister the Rev Ian Paisley of the DUP. The previously bitter enemies forged such a harmonious relationship that they were dubbed "the chuckle brothers".