Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ruling Alliance Wins Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections

The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on 9 April swept to a 'resounding victory' in the parliamentary election falling just short of a two-thirds majority. According to the final elections results, the UPFA, whose leader is President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had polled 47,97,272 votes winning 117 seats out of 196 in the fray in 20 districts gaining 60.43 percent of the votes polled.

Rajapaksa's Proper Strategy
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) led by opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe lagging far behind had been able to garner only 2,336,691 votes which is 29.43 percent and secured 46 seats.

The DNA (Democratic National Alliance) led by detained General Sarath Fonseka and mainly consisting of the JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna) had polled 439,601 votes winning 5 seats with a percentage of 5.54 percent. The TNA (Tamil National Alliance) that dominates politics in the North which contested under the Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchch (ITAK) banner had polled 212,590 votes which is 2.68 percent and received 12 seats.

The Unicameral Sri Lankan Parliament has 225 seats out of which 196 are contested directly and the rest 29 are nominated based on the percentage of votes polled by various national political parties and groups.

Opposition UNP Concedes Election Results 'Setback'
Main opposition UNP conceded it had suffered a setback at the general elections and said that it would have to introduce a number of changes. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the party's strategy and the organizational structure needed to be changed once the election results were fully reviewed. He said the party leaders would discuss these matters in detail after the final results of the April 8 general elections were announced.

The UNP that secured 82 seats at the 2004 election was nowhere near that mark this time but in stark contrast, the UPFA that won the 2004 general elections with 105 seats in an alliance with the JVP won many more seats at this election without the support of the JVP.
JVP which was once described as the third force in Sri Lanka's politics had secured 39 slots in the previous parliament contesting under the UPFA but suffered a major setback at 8 April elections.

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