Glitz to campaign as stars make debut in politics

By Nadia Fazlulhaq, Pic by Gamini Mahadura

Election fever has begun in the South, with popular faces from the world of Sinhala cinema adding glitz to the excitement. The campaigning for seats in the Southern Provincial Council began in earnest as soon as nominations closed on Friday. The election day is October 10.

Making their debut in politics are actresses Anarkali Aakarsha and Susantha Chandramali, who will contest for seats in the Galle and Hambantota districts respectively under the UPFA ticket.

Young actress Anarkali Aakarsha waves at the crowd in Galle district, under the UPFA ticket

The candidates are working overtime to win the hearts of 1,761,859 registered voters in Galle, Matara and Hambantota.. A total of 17 political parties and 12 independent groups are fielding 1,091 candidates for 55 seats.

Twenty three Provincial Council members will be elected for Galle district; 18 for Matara district, and 12 for Hambantota district. Fifteen registered political parties and four independent groups will contest in Galle, fielding 494 candidates for PC 23 seats.

Shan Wijayalal de Silva, former Chief Minister of the Southern Province, will lead the UPFA campaign in Galle district, while Hemal Gunasekera and K. Indika will lead the UPFA campaigns in Matara and Hambantota respectively.

The UNP’s Matara campaign will be led by councillor Budhika Pathirana, while Somapala Ekanayake and Bandula Bandarigoda will represent the UNP in Matara and Hambantota respectively.

Representing the JVP are Sisira Wahalathanthri for Hambantota, Sisira Kumara for Matara, and Nalin Hewage for Galle.

Former Southern Council Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal de Silva leads for UPFA.

While the two main political parties have not named candidates for the post of Chief Minister, the JVP has appointed Matara district leader Sisira Kumara as their choice for Chief Minister.

A total 761,815 persons are eligible to vote in Galle district, 578,858 in Matara, and 421,181 voters in Hambantota.

The parties contesting in Galle district are: United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA); United National Party (UNP); Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP); Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC); Sinhale Maha Sammatha Bhoomi Puthra Paksaya; Eksath Lanka Janatha Paksaya; Ruhunu Janatha Peramuna; Janasetha Peramuna; Samaajawadi Jananatha Paksaya; Pragathisheeli Peramuna; Eksath Lanka Maha Sabawa; Eksath Jathika Sandanaya; Eksath Lanka Podujana Paksaya; Wamanshika Peramuna and Eksath Samaajawadi Paksaya. The Deshapremi Jathika Peramuna’s nomination was rejected.

Fifteen political parties and three independent groups will contest for 18 Matara district seats. Parties contesting in Matara are: UPFA, UNP, JVP, SLMC, Sinhale Maha Sammatha Bhoomi Puthra Paksaya, Janasetha Peramuna, Eksath Samajawadi Paksaya, Eksath Lanka Podu Janatha Paksaya, Sri Lanka Pragathasheeli Peramuna, Eksath Lanka Maha Sabawa, Jathika Sanwardana Peramuna, Ruhunu Janatha Paksaya, Eksath Prajathantrawadi Sandanaya and Deshapremi Jathika Peramuna. The Eksath Lanka Podujana Pakshaya nomination was rejected.

Ten political parties and six independent groups will field 240 candidates for 12 seats in Hambantota. They are from the UPFA, UNP, JVP, Sinhale Maha Sammata Bhoomi Puthra Paksaya, Janasetha Peramuna, Sri Lanka Pragathisheeli Paksaya, Eksath Lanka Maha Sabawa, Eksath Lanka Podujana Paksaya, Eksath Samajawadi Paksaya and Jathika Sanwardana Peramuna. The Deshapremi Jathika Peramuna’s nomination was rejected.

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