Sinn Fein wins Assembly elections in Northern Ireland

by APA

Northern Ireland is on the cusp of having a nationalist leader for the first time in its history after Sinn Fein, once considered the political wing of the IRA, emerged as the largest party in regional elections, APA reports citing CNN.

Sinn Fein overtook the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in voting for the province’s 90-member national Assembly, winning the most seats, 27, and securing the highest share of first preference votes. This compares with 25 seats for the DUP and 17 for the Alliance Party.

The counting of votes finished early on Sunday, with all 90 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly now filled, according to the UK’s PA media news agency.

Sinn Fein is now the largest party in the assembly and can nominate a first minister for the first time. The party is opposed to Northern Ireland being part of the United Kingdom and is in favor of a united Ireland.

“The preparation for constitutional change in Ireland needs to begin now,” Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald told CNN on Friday evening as results began to emerge. “We need to be alive to the fact that change is underway.

“It is my absolute determination that that change will be entirely peaceful,” she added.

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