The Sri Lanka Podujana Party spearheaded by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa recorded a historic victory inSaturday’s Local Government elections securing more than 225 local councils pushing the United National Party (UNP) to the second place with little over 40 councils.
Official election results were being compiled on Sunday night, but estimated figures showed that the SLPP had clinched 45 per cent of the vote as against UNP’s 33 per cent.
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) whose campaign was led by President Maithripala Sirisena ended up with less than 10 councils and only 15 per cent of the vote.
The UNP secured victories in mostly urban areas there by winning Municipal and Urban councils while the biggest victory came in the traditional stronghold of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)limits where the UNP returned 60 members including Ms Rosy Senanayake who will serve as the first Woman Mayor. The UNP obtained more than 131,000 votes while the SLPP secured only 60,000 votes returning 23 members.Cc
The Kandy Municipality, Kolonnawa UC, Wattala – Mabole UC, kalutara UC, Nuwara-Eliya MC, Galle MC, Weligama UC , Hambantota MC, Badulla Mc were among the areas the councils the UNP captured power.
As the results poured in the SLPP and parties backing it called on the government to step down, claiming the government had lost its mandate given by the people in 2015 while President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met separately with senior ministers to discuss the outcome of the poll.
Later in the day the Prime Minister met with the President’s at the official residence of the President, but the outcome was not known immediately.
Earlier after the meeting between the President and UPFA ministers, reporters were told that President had told that he would be making a ‘significant change’ soon, but they declined to give details.
The JVP said though they did not get the expected result, they were able to increase their membership compared to the previous time. The JVP had secured about six per cent of the vote- the usual result at national level elections.
Several of the UNP and UPFA members failed to secure the areas where they have been appointed as organisers or the areas they represent. State Minister Dilan Perera (Hali-Ela), Sujeewa Senasinghe (Kaduwela), Dayasiri Jayasekara (Panduwasnuwara), Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena were among few of them.
The SLPP secured some of the outright victories with large margins as well as smaller margins in some of the areas leaving the possibility that some of the opposition parties may join up to form the council.
In a related development the Ceylon Workers Congress said it would team up with the SLPP to form 11 councils where they do not have a clear majority.
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