- SJB trails far behind
- UNP relegated to the fourth position
- SLFP gains in Jaffna
- NPP outperforms UNP in many electorates
- TNA vote base invaded by other parties in Jaffna and Vanni
By Kelum Bandara
Sri Lanka Podujana Permuna (SLPP) led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was heading for an unprecedented, landslide victory according to the results of the general elections announced up to last evening. The election was concluded on August 5. The results of the electoral districts in the southern province, Badulla and Moneragala had been released by evening indicating a resounding victory for the SLPP. The SLPP, a party formed ahead of the 2018 local authorities’ elections, was well on its way to its third consecutive victory. Initial results were indicative of a victory close to a two-thirds majority.
Also, the SLPP allies such as the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulihal (TMVP) were making head way in their respective bases in the north and east. The SLPP percentage in the Sinhala majority electorates stood above 70 percent and in some constituencies it was as high as 76 percent.
Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), a breakaway group of the United National Party (UNP), trailed far behind the SLPP at this election as the second largest party. It was able to muster only one parliamentary seat in districts such as Matara and Hambantota.
The UNP’s performance in most cases was found to be dismal. The grand old party which was founded in 1946 could not reach the cut off point of five percent of total polled votes. A party needs to poll more than five percent of votes from an electoral district to qualify for parliamentary representation.
The National People’s Power (NPP), the political alliance led by the JVP, outperformed the UNP in most electorates where the results were announced and secured the third position next to the SJB.
The electoral performance of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was somewhat poorer than the last time because the newly formed Tamil Makkal Kooteny and Ahila Ilankai Tamil Congress have made significant inroads into their vote bases in electorates such as Jaffna, Kayts, Kankesanthurai, Point Pedro, Kopai and Manipai where the results had been announced by the time this edition when to press yesterday evening.
In what appeared to be a significant political development, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which contested in the Jaffna district had garnered support from Tamil constituents raising prospects of winning a seat. In some electorates such as Kankesanthurai and Kopai, the SLFP was next to the TNA. If the SLFP secures a seat from the Jaffna district, it will be the first time for the party to have parliamentary representation. The SLFP, as a national party, has never got any parliamentary representation.
In the Batticaloa district, the TMVP led by former Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan received a fair number of votes sufficient enough to secure parliamentary representation. Mr. Chandrakanthan is presently behind bars in connection with allegations related to the assassination of one time TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham.