Michelle O'Neill retained Sinn Fein vice presidency with two thirds of vote

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By Rebecca Black, PA

Sinn Fein has revealed that Michelle O'Neill held on to her post as the party's vice president with two thirds of the vote.

The party initially refused to disclose how many votes Ms O'Neill and John O'Dowd received in the race for the position.

The outcome was announced on Saturday at the party's Ard Fheis in Londonderry but the breakdown of the vote among party members was not, prompting accusations of a lack of transparency.

Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald insisted the vote was in line with party procedures.

"The result is known, you all know the result, the process is an internal one and it's now concluded," she said.

However Danny Morrison, the party's former publicity director, revealed the voting figures in a tweet on Friday morning.

According to the post by Mr Morrison, Ms O'Neill received 493 votes to Mr O'Dowd's 241, indicating she had taken 67% of the vote, compared to 32% for Mr O'Dowd.

Former Stormont education minister Mr O'Dowd signalled his ambition to replace Ms O'Neill in the senior leadership role in August.

The process appeared to be low-key with no public hustings ahead of the formal vote.

Ms O'Neill became vice president in January 2018 when her predecessor, Mary Lou McDonald, succeeded the retiring Gerry Adams as president.

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