Sri Lanka’s ruling party wins local council polls

September 9th, 2012 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s ruling party was the overall winner at elections held in three local councils a day earlier, showed official results released Sunday.

The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the most number of seats for the local councils in the north central, Sabaragamuwa and eastern provinces, reported Xinhua.

Results released by the department of elections showed that in the Sabaragamuwa province, the UPFA secured 28 seats while the main opposition United National Party (UNP) was second with 14 seats.

In the north central province, the UPFA secured 21 seats while the UNP was second with 11 seats and in the eastern province, the UPFA secured 14 seats while ITAK, which is part of the Tamil National Alliance, the main Tamil party in Sri Lanka, was second with 11 seats.

Analysts said that while the UPFA was expected to win the elections, the talking point will be the impressive gains made by the Tamil party in the east.

The UPFA, in securing 14 seats including two bonus seats to the eastern provincial council, had won 31.58 percent of the total votes while ITAK won 30.59 percent of the votes.

In the last elections held in the eastern province in 2008, the UPFA had secured 52.21 percent of the total votes and got 20 seats in the council while the UNP was second with 15 seats.

The Tamil National Alliance boycotted the elections in the east in 2008 claiming the environment was not safe as a paramilitary group was operating in the area and the final stages of the war with the Tamil Tiger rebels was at its peak.

Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, a former Tamil Tiger rebel, was appointed as the chief minister of the eastern province following the UPFA victory at the 2008 polls.

Police and election monitors said that Saturday’s election in the three provinces was largely peaceful with only minor incidents reported.

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