MICHELLE O’Neill has retained her position in Sinn Fein after winning a ballot against party colleague John O’Dowd.
Former Stormont education minister Mr O’Dowd signalled his ambition to replace Ms O’Neill in the senior leadership role in August.
Party delegates attending the Ard Fheis in Derry on Friday and Saturday cast their ballots over the two days, with the winner announced on Saturday evening.
But no details of how many votes O’Neill or O’Dowd polled in the secret ballot were revealed.
And since O’Dowd announced his decision to challenge O’Neill three months ago, O’Dowd was sidelined from major party events and press calls.
Welcoming her endorsement at the Millennium Forum, Ms O’Neill said: “I am really honoured to have been endorsed by the membership of Sinn Fein and re-elected to the position of Leas-Uachtaran.
“I am thankful to delegates and members across Ireland who voted for me in this contest.
“The contest was conducted in a very comradely way across the party where John O’Dowd and I campaigned internally and put forward our platform and vision to the Sinn Fein membership.
“John is a longstanding republican and a highly regarded colleague and I very much value his political contribution and friendship.
“We are both committed to advancing our party, so that we are fit for purpose as a political movement now and in the future.
“Working alongside Mary Lou McDonald and our senior team I want to maximise the positive growth and development of the party across Ireland.
“It’s our ambition to drive a progressive political agenda for change across Ireland.
“I look forward to continuing this important work in my role as Sinn Fein vice-president.”
More than 2,000 party members debated 166 motions at the party conference in Derry over the weekend, looking at all policy areas, including planning for Irish reunification, large-scale public housing, measures to reduce rent, the climate emergency and insurance premiums.
President of Irish Congress of Trade Unions Gerry Murphy addressed the delegates as well as representatives from Palestine and Cuba.