Belfast council votes in first nationalist mayor

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The Independent Online
Belfast councillors last night voted in the first-ever nationalist Lord Major in the history of the city, following the recent council election in which Unionist parties lost their overall majority in the city.

The new Lord Mayor is barrister Alban Maginness, 47, of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. He was elected with the support of Sinn Fein and the cross-community Alliance Party. Mr Maginness, who has been a city councillor for 12 years, last night said that the city's political mould had been broken. But he added: "Its fracture does not mark a defeat of one political tradition by another. Nor is it a victory, but rather it signifies a bold step towards the creation of a partnership amongst the political traditions in this divided city."