Sri Lankan Tamil party seeks support to form eastern province government

September 9th, 2012 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 9 (IANS) The main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka Sunday initiated talks with opposition parties to reach a majority to form a government in the eastern province following the local council elections.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislator Suresh Premachandran told Xinhua that his party had reached an agreement with the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and will next meet the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) on forming an alliance.

Local council elections for three provinces in the country including the Tamil-dominated Eastern province were held Saturday and the results were released Sunday.

The SLMC, led by Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, had decided to contest the elections in the eastern province independently despite being a coalition member of the government.

The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the elections in the eastern province, but by just a small margin.

Final results released by the department of elections showed that the UPFA had secured 14 seats in the eastern province administrative council including two bonus seats by winning 31.58 percent of the total votes.

The Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), which is part of the TNA, secured 11 seats by getting 30.59 percent of the votes while the UNP and SLMC also won a few seats.

Premachandran said that the UNP has agreed to back the TNA and with their support, the TNA will match the number of seats the governing party has in the council.

“The SLMC will now be the king maker. If the SLMC backs us then we will have a majority in the council and can govern the province. They will now have to decide if they will back us or the government,” Premachandran said.

During the last elections held in the eastern province in 2008, the UPFA won with a majority and appointed a former Tamil Tiger rebel as the chief minister.

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