Ranil’s UNP govt. with President’s backing!

by Shamindra Ferdinando

UNP-led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) secured ten out of 22 electoral districts, including Colombo to obtain the largest block of seats at the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls, though it couldn’t secure a simple majority in 225-member parliament.

The UNP won 106 seats, including 13 National List slots, UPFA 95 with 12 NL slots, ITAF 16 with 2 NL slots and the JVP six with two NL slots. The EPDP and the SLMC won one seat each and got no NL slots.

Authoritative political sources told The Island that President Maithripala Sirisena had assured SLFP’s backing to a future UNP government and, therefore, it wouldn’t be difficult for the new government to secure the required majority in Parliament. Sources further said that the UPFA’s defeat had automatically defused premiership crisis in the UPFA. President Maithripala Sirisena was expected to discuss the situation with the SLFP/UPFA group to reach an understanding regarding the formation of the next government.

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The new parliament is scheduled to meet on Sept. 1.

The SLFP-led UPFA won nine districts, whereas the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) comfortably won Jaffna, Vanni and Batticaloa electoral districts.

The JHU, SLMC, ACMC and National Union of Workers contested on the UNP ticket. The grouping polled 5,098,927 votes to obtain 93 seats under Proportional Representation system. The SLFP-led UPFA secured 4,732,669 votes to obtain 83 seats, whereas the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (14), the JVP (4) EPDP (1) and the SLMC (1) shared the rest. The JVP, ITAK, SLMC and EPDP polled 543,944, 515,963, 44,193 and 33,481 votes, respectively.

The SLMC contested Batticaloa and Vanni electoral districts on its own while contesting in several other districts on the UNP ticket. The ACMC too contested on its own in the Puttalam and Ampara Districts.

In addition to Colombo, the UNP secured Gampaha, Nuwara Eliya, Mahanuwara, Trincomalee, Digamadulla, Puttalam, Polonnaruwa, Badulla and Kegalle.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa led the UPFA to a narrow win in the Kurunegala district. The UPFA also won Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Matale, Anuradhapura, Moneragama and Ratnapura. The UPFA lost President Maithripala Sirisena’s Polonnaruwa stronghold with the UNP comfortably winning two (Polonnaruwa and Medirigiriya electorates) out of three.

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party, Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) led by veteran politician V. Anandasangaree and an Independent Group fielded by ex-LTTE cadres failed to secure seats.

At the last presidential election in April 2010, under then General Sarath Fonseka’s leadership, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) secured seven seats. The DNA’s seven included JVP’s four seats.

At the last 2010 parliamentary election held close on the heels of the presidential poll, the UPFA won a whopping 144 seats, including 17 National List slots. The remaining seats were shared by the UNP 60 (nine NL slots), DNA (2 NL slots) and ITAK 14 (1 NL slot).