BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein has won the largest number of seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time. With almost all votes counted from Thursday's election, Sinn Fein has secured 27 of the assembly’s 90 seats.
The Democratic Unionist Party has 24. The historic win means Sinn Fein is entitled to the post of first minister in Belfast for the first time since Northern Ireland was founded as a Protestant-majority state in 1921. Sinn Fein seeks a united Ireland and has long been linked to the Irish Republican Army. But the party kept unification out of the spotlight this year during a campaign that was dominated by the skyrocketing cost of living.