SL governing coalition takes lead in local polls

Published on Mar 31, 2006 11:07 AM IST

Rajapaksa's United Peoples' Freedom Alliance won majorities in 43 out of 51 local councils where results were declared.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Colombo

Early results from Sri Lanka's local elections on Friday showed President Mahinda Rajapaksa's coalition with a strong lead in polls seen as a referendum on his policies and support of a peace process with Tamil rebels.

Rajapaksa's United Peoples' Freedom Alliance won majorities in 43 out of 51 local councils where results were declared, compared with seven for the main opposition United National Party, the Government Information Department said.

Over 10 million people were eligible to vote in the elections for 226 local councils, but turnout for Thursday's balloting was only about 50 per cent.

Elections in the north and east - where the Tigers operate - have been postponed due to security concerns.

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