Home » Featured, News

Sri Lanka elections: ruling party claims victory

[Telegraph, Friday, 9 April 2010 08:05 No Comment]

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to the media after casting his vote for the parliamentary elections at Madamulana in Hambanthota Photo EPA Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking to the media after casting his vote for the parliamentary elections at Madamulana in Hambanthota Photo: EPA

With more than one fifth of votes counted, President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had secured 62.1 per cent of the vote, with the main opposition United National Party a distant second with 27.32 per cent.

"We have won the election," said Dullas Alahaperuma, transport minister and UPFA spokesman, who predicted the collated results would give his party 138 to 142 seats in the 225-member parliament.

"We may be short of 12 or 13 seats to get two-thirds but that will not be a challenge for us."

It was the first parliamentary poll since the government defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year, ending a bloody three-decade conflict.

The widely expected victory for the ruling party will further strengthen Mr Rajapakse’s grip on power just three months after he won a second term as president by an emphatic margin.

Mr Rajapakse had been hoping for a two thirds majority that would allow him to amend the constitution, which currently limits presidents to two successive terms.

"I want a very strong parliament to develop the country," he said as he cast his vote. For many Sri Lankans, it was the first legislative election in which they could vote without fear of Tamil Tiger violence and suicide attacks following the defeat of the rebels, which has boosted Mr Rajapakse’s standing.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.