The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has won a landslide victory at the 2018 Local Government (LG) Election held on Saturday. Voters went to the polls to elect representatives to 340 LG bodies at this year's election.
Based on results released as at 8.00pm on Sunday, the SLPP has won a staggering 222 LG bodies. The United National Party (UNP) of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been pushed to a humiliating second place with 41 LG bodies. The Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) has won control of 34 LG bodies.
The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) of President Maithripala Sirisena has fared worse winning just seven LG bodies.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has been unable to win a single LG body.
The Election Commission had earlier stated that it would be able to release results of the poll after 8.30pm on Saturday itself. This however, did not happen due to a number of technical difficulties officials experienced when entering results into a new computerized system. The Commission issued statements at 1.30am and 12.30pm today explaining reasons for the delay and noting that releasing the entire result could be delayed well into Monday evening.
Meanwhile, alliances are already being formed between different parties to gain control of LG bodies where parties have no clear majority or where one party's majority is extremely slim. The SLPP has already announced that it would form an alliance with the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) led by Arumugam Thondaman to gain control of 11 LG bodies in the Nuwara Eliya District. Mr Thondaman's party had earlier supported the UPFA under President Sirisena during the local polls.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while thanking the voters for delivering a resounding victory for the SLPP, has appealed to them to celebrate their victory in a peaceful manner.
President Maithripala Sirisena met with the Central Committee (CC) of the SLFP on Sunday morning and was also due to meet senior leaders of the UNP including Premier Wickremesinghe to discuss future course of action following the government's defeat the polls.
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