Sri Lanka polls: Early results show Rajapaksa clan heading for landslide win
August 06, 2020  21:09
Sri Lanka's powerful Rajapaksa family-run Sri Lanka People's Party appeared to be heading for a landslide win in the country's twice-postponed parliamentary election, according to early results announced on Thursday.

The SLPP has polled more votes than its rivals, scoring over 60 per cent of the total votes in the 16 seats declared so far from the South, dominated by the Sinhala majority community. The party won 13 seats out of 16.

In Galle destrict, the SLPP won seven out of nine seats on offer while in the neighbouring Matara district they did even better by winning six out of seven seats on offer.

The nearest rival is the new party formed by former presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa who has relegated his mother party, the United National Party, of former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to the fourth place even below the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

The SJB has won only three seats from both districts. 

In the polling division results from other districts where counting is in progress, the SLPP has taken unassailable leads, sources said.

In the Tamil minority dominated north, the main Tamil party - Tamil National Alliance - despite bagging a few polling divisions had also suffered unexpected reversals at the hands of SLPP's Tamil allies - the Eelam People's Democratic Party. 

The counting began in the morning after the polls were closed on Wednesday.

As the counting of votes began, SLPP founder and its National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa -- who is the younger brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the eldest being Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa -- said that the party is all set to form a new government.
Mahinda's SLPP is expected to win control of the 225-member assembly by a comfortable margin, according to analysts.

President Gotabaya hopes for a two-thirds majority for the SLPP so that he can amend the Constitution to restore presidential powers curbed by a 2015 constitutional change.
The president is not a candidate while care-taker prime minister Mahinda is running from the north western capital district of Kurunegala.

-- PTI
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