The AP said Donaldson received 32 votes from the Electoral College, which has 36 party members, including 28 MPs from the party in the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly and eight elected to Parliament in London.
At the age of 58, Jeffrey Donaldson, who leads the party’s parliamentary group in the UK Parliament in London, was the lone candidate in the election after two troubled months for the largest party in Northern Ireland.
Donaldson lost last month to Edwin Putz, who resigned last month after extremists competed against a deal to name new leaders for power-sharing rule among Protestant Catholics.
Religiously and socially conservative locks did not attend today’s meeting, AP
“I believe today’s decision is an important step in building the unity of my party, in rebuilding a strong party, and in strengthening the leadership that Northern Ireland now needs,” Donaldson said, acknowledging that this was a problematic period for the DUP.
Donaldson, the DUP’s official leader, has indicated his desire to return to Belfast from London to take over as prime minister next week as the party’s executive meeting convenes to approve the appointment.
However, the date of this change is uncertain.
Donaldson has admitted that his predecessor, Boots-appointed Paul Gwen, will continue as prime minister “now”.
According to the AP, Donaldson points out that one of the “bug fixing” priorities of the Northern Ireland Protocol is the post-Brexit trade agreement between the British government and the European Union, with some imposing customs and border restrictions on the United Kingdom and other parts of the United Kingdom.
“This protocol is doing great damage to our economy, confidence and political stability, so I believe Northern Ireland needs to find another way to do things that are not as damaging as the protocol,” Donaldson said.
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