The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, which is in favor of unification with Ireland, today welcomed the “new era” for Northern Ireland, as it won the most seats in parliament for the first time.
Sinn Féin won 27 of the 90 seats in the local elections on Thursday, while the Democratic Unionist Party, which has dominated the Northern Ireland legislature for two decades, won 24 seats.
The victory means that Sinn Féin has the right to elect the first minister in Belfast for the first time since Northern Ireland was founded as a country with a majority Protestant population in 1921.
The centrist Alliance party, which does not identify as either nationalist or unionist, has experienced a huge increase in support and will become the second big winner in the elections with 17 seats.
Although Sinn Fein’s victory would mark a historic change that shows declining support for unionist parties, it is still uncertain what will happen next due to the complicated separation of powers procedure in Northern Ireland and the ongoing conflicts over the Brexit arrangement.