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Landslide victory for ruling party

world Updated: Apr 10, 2010 00:48 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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The ruling coalition led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in Thursday’s general election which recorded the lowest turnout in the history of Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary elections.

Till late Friday evening, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had won 117 seats. They had crossed the 113-mark that gave them a simple majority in the 225-member Parliament.

The nearest competition, the principle opposition United National Party, got 47 seats.

Former army chief Sarath Fonseka-led Democratic National Alliance fared miserably with five seats. Its principal component, the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Perumana, almost got wiped off its southern strongholds.

The Tamil National Alliance bagged 12 seats, winning Jaffna.

The final result would be delayed after the Election Department annulled the polls in the two districts of Kandy and Trincomalee following allegations of electoral malpractices and voter intimidation. Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has ordered fresh polls in these two districts.

Projections said even if the UPFA did well in these two districts, it would fall short of an expected 2/3rd majority.

The UPFA expectedly won in the Hambantota District — the Rajapaksa family’s home district — by obtaining 174,808 votes and securing 5 seats.

Rajapaksa’s eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa, won the preference list of candidates in Hambantota and won his Parliamentary election. “We have won the election,” said Transport Minister and UPFA spokesman Dullas Alahaperuma, who predicted the collated results would give his party 138 to 142 seats.