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Susil confident of 143 seats
Dallas ridicules Tissa over ‘foolish excuses’ for latest defeat

UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha says that once the delayed results of Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee polling divisions are announced, the ruling coalition’s final tally will go up to 143 seats, including 17 from the National List.

Addressing the media at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, the former Education Minister said that the Election Secretariat had announced the results of 20 out of 22 electoral districts.

Of the 180 MPs elected from the 20 electoral districts, the UPFA has secured 117 seats; the UNP 46; the TNA 12 and the JVP-led Democratic National Alliance (DNA) the remaining five.

According to Premjayantha, the UPFA could win seven out of 12 seats in Kandy and two out of four seats in Trincomalee. He asserted that the re-poll ordered by the Election Secretariat due to the annulment of polling in 34 polling booths at Nawalapitiya and one at Trincomalee would not alter their final result.

Responding to a query by The Island, Premjayantha said that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on persons allegedly involved in incidents, which prompted Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to order a re-poll.

Supporters of former ministers, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Susantha Punchinilame are alleged to have caused mayhem at Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee, respectively, a charge denied by them.

Premjayantha said that unlike any other previous national election, the UPFA would be represented in all 22 electoral districts, including Jaffna and Vanni.

Emphasising that they had already established full control in Parliament, Premjayantha said that an overwhelming victories at the January 26 presidential election and the general election would give a turbo boost to the UPFA’s development efforts.

SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sisisena invited elected members of the Opposition to accept President Mahinda Rajapaksa's leadership without being an impediment to the country's rapid progress in the wake of the armed forces’ triumph over the LTTE.

Former Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma urged the UNP and the JVP not to give foolish excuses for their latest electoral defeat. He said that nothing could be as idiotic as trying to portray a low voter-turn out at the general election as a defeat for the UPFA. Acknowledging that the turn-out was low when compared with previous general elections, he said that the UPFA had increased its percentage to 60.43 per cent from 57 per cent obtained at the January 26 presidential poll. The joint Opposition, which secured a 41 per cent at the presidential election in January, was now down to 37 per cent, he said.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake did not know what he was talking, Alahpperuma said.

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