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SAARC Nations: Sri Lanka’s election explained

Venkatesh Iyer

Banglore: Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led alliance attains a landslide win within the 9th parliamentary elections 2020 with 151 seats securing a 2/3 majority. The elections were initially planned for April but were, deferred twice thanks to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

PM Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn-in on Sunday, his cabinet ministers will follow later.

The SLPP led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa secured 68.53 Lakhs (59.09%) votes. The party contested the overall Election for the first time has managed to secure handsome gains in the majority of its constituencies.  It incidentally is only the third electoral outing for the SLPP, having gained victories at the February 2018 government Elections and also the November 2016 Presidential Election.

Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn in as the Prime Minister for the fourth time, the first being under President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in 2004. Next, he went to hold the post of Prime Minister temporarily appointed by the then President Sirisena during the constitutional crisis from October to December 2018. He was again anointed as the Prime Minister on 21 November 2019, after the present President and his younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected, to office.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was first of world leaders who dialled the Sri Lankan counterpart to congratulate him for the achievement followed by a twitter message stating “Thank you, Prime Minister @PresRajapaksa! It was a pleasure to speak to you. Once again, many congratulations. We will work together to further advance all areas of bilateral cooperation and to take our special ties to ever newer heights.

Mahinda acknowledged this with a tweet “Thank you PM@narendramodi for your congratulatory call. With the strong support of the people of #SriLanka, I look forward to working with you closely to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between our two countries. Sri Lanka & India are friends & relations,”

Sajith Premadasa, the previous opposition leader of the recently floated Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) a breakaway faction of the United National Party (UNP) managed to secure the second position by polling 23.9% votes. The UNP suffered significant losses and managed to garner 2.15% votes. Anura Kumara Dissanayake led Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) secured two seats with a 3.84% and has managed to remain third within the race. The llankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) managed to bag 1 single seat with 2.82%.

The voting held in 225 parliamentary seats concluded in an exceedingly peaceful manner, with the voting percentage being 70 per cent and will last a full 5-year term.

 

 

 

 

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