DUP scrape first place in Northern Ireland elections

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BELFAST: The pro-British Democratic Unionist Party scraped into first place and Irish republicans Sinn Fein came a close second in snap elections in Northern Ireland—a dramatic shake-up that deprives unionist parties of a symbolic overall majority for the first time. The vote was called to resolve a political stalemate between historical rivals DUP and Sinn Fein, who will now have to begin negotiations to govern together under a power-sharing agreement struck to bring an end to civil strife in the British-ruled province. Final results from Thursday’s regional elections showed the DUP had won 28 seats and Sinn Fein 27 in the province’s semi-autonomous 90-seat parliament after all ballots were counted on Saturday. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) won 12 seats, the Ulster Unionist Party 10, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) eight and others five. The result means pro-British unionist parties will no longer command a majority leadership for the first time since the province was created in 1921.

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AFP

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