DUP, Sinn Fein big winners in N. Ireland

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, March 9 (UPI) -- Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party and the nationalist Sinn Fein led the voting Friday in Northern Ireland.

The DUP won 36 seats in the 108-seat Northern Ireland Assembly, while Sinn Fein, with 26 percent of the vote, picked up 28 seats, The Guardian reported. The Ulster Unionist Party secured 18 seats, the Social Democratic and Labor Party 16 and the Alliance, which attempts to bridge the Protestant-Catholic divide in the province, seven seats.


Paisley, a Presbyterian minister and longtime unionist hard-liner, said he will decide in the next two weeks whether he can enter a government with Sinn Fein. Speaking at a victory rally, however, he suggested he might set new conditions for the Republican party, telling his followers Sinn Fein leaders "need to repent and turn from their evil ways," The New York Times reported.

"Sinn Fein are not entitled to be at the same table until they declare themselves in favor of democracy," Paisley said.

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