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Sri Lanka's ruling coalition wins election

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Fri, Apr 09, 2010 13:47 hrs

Colombo: President Mahinda Rajapaksa's UPFA on Friday returned to power impressively, bagging 117 of 225 seats in the first post-LTTE era Parliamentary polls in Sri Lanka, with its closest rival UNF securing just 46 and detained ex- army chief Sarath Fonseka's DNA failing to touch even a double digit mark.

With results for 45 seats for the 14th Parliament yet to be declared, pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance got 12, while Fonseka's JVP-dominated Democratic National Alliance (DNA) received just five seats so far, officials said.

The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the polls comfortably with 117 seats against a fractured opposition but appears unlikely to secure a two-third majority. Former Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's main opposition UNP-led United National Front received 46 seats.

Sri Lanka vote marred by violence, intimidation: monitors

"We have already won this election," Information Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. "People have given the President a strong Parliament as never before."

A party needs 113 seats to get a simple majority and form government.

In Sri Lanka, the general elections directly decide 196 seats while the remaining 29 members are chosen based on the percentage of votes secured by each party.

Tissa Attanayake, the General Secretary of United National Party (UNP) -- the main constituent of UNF, earlier in the day alleged that there were obstructions towards conduct of a free and fair general election.

Record low turnout marks Sri Lanka parliamentary polls

Countering his charges, Maithreepala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan Freedom Party which is the key part of UPFA, said all necessary measures were taken for a free and fair election.

He claimed a high number of people turned up to vote for the UPFA while supporters of the opposition largely did not cast their ballots.

Sirisena attributed the low voter turnout at the general election as against the January 26 Presidential polls in which Rajapaksa defeated Fonseka, to the opposition not actively engaging in the campaigning.

General Secretary of Fonseka-led opposition Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Vijitha Herath said his group was hopeful of making its presence felt in new Parliament.

More than 14 million people were eligible to vote in yesterday's polls in which 7,620 candidates from 36 political parties and 310 independent groups took part. According to independent poll monitors, around 50 per cent people cast their ballots.

The 13th Parliament was elected for a six-year term in 2004, when the UPFA had come to power after securing 105 seats against Wickremesinghe-led UNP's 82.






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