Impressive win for UPFA, TNA victorious in North

UPFA: 45, TNA: 18, TULF: 2: NONE for UNP, JVP, SLMC


By Shamindra Ferdinando

The SLFP-led UPFA secured a comfortable victory at Saturday’s LG polls by securing 45 local bodies, while the TNA (18) and TULF (2) shared the remaining 20 local authorities in the electoral districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Digamadulla.

Of the 16 local bodies in the Jaffna electoral district, the UPFA won Kayts, Velani and Delft. The TNA captured power in Trincomalee Town and Gravets, Tirukkovil and Karaitivu in the East. The TULF secured Pooneryn and Pachchilaipalli in the Kilinochchi electoral district.

The main Opposition UNP, the JVP and the SLMC, which contested some LG authorities on its own, failed to win at least a single body. UPFA constituent SLMC also placed some of its candidates on the UPFA lists in line with an understanding reached with the SLFP.

UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha told The Island that the Opposition never posed a real challenge to the government in spite of making what he called bombastic statements in the run-up to the second phase of the LG polls 2011.

In the first phase held on March 17, 2011, the UPFA obtained 205 out of 234 LG bodies. The TNA secured 12, UNP 9, SLMC 4, National Congress 2, Upcountry People’s Front 1 and Independent Group 1.

Minister Premjayantha said that the people had reaffirmed their faith in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s policies. The minister said that the TNA (18) and TULF (2) had shared the 20 LG bodies in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, though some bankrupt politicians and various other interested parties alleged the army would interfere in elections on behalf of the ruling coalition.

The UPFA tally comprised LG bodies at Kaduwela, Kesbewa, Homagama, Minuwangoda, Attanagalle, Harispattuwa, Akurana, Yatinuwara, Wilgamuwa, Ukuwela, Elpitiya, Baddegama, Akmeemana, Akuressa, Seruwila, Kantale, Kuchchuveli, Giribawa, Kuliyapitiya, Polgahawela, Mawathagama, Chilaw, Navagattegama, Wennappuwa, Nuwaragampalatha, Rajanganaya, Galnewa, Elehera, Hingurakgoda, Welikanda, Siyambalanduwa, Moneragala, Embilipitiya, Ratnapura, Balangoda, Weligepola, Kegalle, Warakapola and Ruwanwella, Kayts, Velani and Delft.

Minister Premjayantha dismissed Opposition allegations that the government engaged in large scale malpractices in the North at Saturday’s poll.

Police headquarters spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody told The Island that there hadn’t been a single serious incident in the Northern Province or in other areas where polls were held.

The Election Secretariat said that the UPFA had secured a total of 512 seats, TNA 183, UNP 137, JVP 13 and TULF 12.

The Elections Secretariat put off polling for 99 LG bodies last March due to the hosting of Cricket World Cup (34 localities), while the remaining 65 councils couldn’t go to polls  as political parties moved courts against rejection of their nominations.

Elections for two more local government bodies in the Mullaitivu District could not be held on Saturday they had not been cleared of mines and other explosive devices.

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