Sri Lanka’s ruling party wins local council elections

July 24th, 2011 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 24 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said Sunday that its landslide win in the local council elections over the weekend was the result of the government’s “democratic” policies.

“There is a clear message, not only locally but also internationally, that at the end of the 30-year war in the north, the people were able to freely select the political party of their choice,” said Susil Premajayantha, a senior minister and UPFA general secretary.

UPFA won 45 of the 65 councils on offer. However, it could win only two of the councils in the north, a former Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold, Xinhua reported.

“The government’s openness and its democratic nature had been clearly endorsed in the result,” Premajayantha said.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) dismissed the victory as one achieved through unfair means.

“There was a massive abuse of state resources and personnel. The military was never used for election purposes like in this election,” a UNP statement said.

The Marxist JVP or the People’s Liberation Front said that the ruling party’s victory was undemocratic as the opponents were not allowed to campaign freely.

Veerasingham Anandasangaree of the Tamil United Liberation Front, which gained control of two councils in the north, said the ruling party used state resources to encourage people to vote for the party.

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