Europe

Democratic Unionists, Sinn Fein keep grip on N.Ireland power

  • The counting of votes continues at the in Londonderry in the Foyle and East Londonderry constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections, Friday May 6, 2016. Ballots are being counted to determine the balance of power in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the foundation for a Protestant-Catholic administration that has governed the British territory in relative harmony for the past nine years. (Niall Carson/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    The counting of votes continues at the in Londonderry in the Foyle and East Londonderry constituencies in the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections, Friday May 6, 2016. Ballots are being counted to determine the balance of power in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the foundation for a Protestant-Catholic administration that has governed the British territory in relative harmony for the past nine years. (Niall Carson/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness arrives at a polling station at Model Primary School in Londonderry, Northern Irelandd  as polls open for the Northern Ireland Assembly election Thursday May 5, 2016. Voters are electing a Scottish Parliament, legislatures in Wales and Northern Ireland as well as choosing many English local authorities.   (Niall Carson/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

    Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness arrives at a polling station at Model Primary School in Londonderry, Northern Irelandd as polls open for the Northern Ireland Assembly election Thursday May 5, 2016. Voters are electing a Scottish Parliament, legislatures in Wales and Northern Ireland as well as choosing many English local authorities. (Niall Carson/PA via AP) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  (The Associated Press)

Results from the Northern Ireland Assembly election have rewarded the rivals who jointly lead the British territory's power-sharing government: the Protestants of the Democratic Unionists and the Catholics of Sinn Fein.

Saturday's conclusion to a two-day ballot count left the Democratic Unionists on top with 38 seats, an identical result to the 2011 election. The Irish nationalist Sinn Fein had hoped to overtake their pro-British adversaries but instead lost one seat to retain 28.

The result leaves the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein sharing control of the 108-member assembly.

The largest parties on each side of the societal divide receive the lion's share of posts in Northern Ireland's cross-community administration. That five-party coalition has governed Northern Ireland in relative stability for the past nine years.