Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has recorded a significant victory in the provincial and local elections held on Saturday.
In the final official results declared in Colombo on Sunday, President Mahinda Rajapakse led seven-party alliance has recorded a landslide victory in the central Uva province by winning 25 seats in the 34 seat council, while the main opposition United National Party (UNP) scored seven seats.
In the minority Tamil dominated Municipal Council of Jaffna and Urban Council of Vavuniya, the ruling party and their allies have also made significant gains. Both Jaffna and Vavuniya are located in Northern Province.
The UPFA won control of Jaffna city by winning 13 of the 23 seats, while its main rival, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) could get only eight seats.
The election was the first since 1998 in Jaffna, the cultural capital of the minority Tamils that came under government control in 1995 after being controlled by the rebels for many years.
The pro-rebel Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is the single largest coalition in Vavuniya Urban Council election with five seats, while their rivals, the Democratic People's Liberation Front and the UPFA, gained five seats together.
Polls closed on Saturday afternoon with the turnout being 25 per cent to 70 per cent in Sri Lanka's first election since the government forces crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas, ending their decades-old bloody battle for a separate Tamil state.
The voter turnout in the Uva province was about 70 per cent and Vavuniya over 60 per cent, while Jaffna recorded a low turnout of 25 per cent, the department of government information said.
Analysts say the popularity of President Rajapaksa has once again been proved in the results following the government's success in defeating the rebels militarily.