The former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempt to make a political comeback suffered a huge blow on Tuesday as parliamentary election results showed a surge in support for rival Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP).
The UNP has emerged as the single largest party with 106 seats in the 225-member legislature.
Mr. Rajapaksa, who was president of the island nation for over nine years till January this year, was the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA)’s prime ministerial candidate for Monday’s polls.
Though the UNP has not secured a simple majority, the formation of the next government with Mr. Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister looks only a matter of formality, given that several smaller parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, support him. Besides, there is talk in political circles in Colombo that a section of lawmakers elected on the UPFA ticket would leave the front and join hands with the UNP.
Of the 225 seats, district-level seats account for 196, for which polling took place on Monday. Seats under the national list will be allotted on the basis of votes polled. In addition to winning 93 seats, the UNP got 13 seats under the national list, taking its tally to 106.
Mr. Rajapaksa’s UPFA, led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, gave a stiff fight and obtained 95 seats, including 12 under the national list. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA)/Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi got 16; Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), six; and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Eelam People’s Democratic Party, one each. The TNA and the JVP were allotted two seats under the national list.
Of the total 22 electoral districts, the UNP secured a majority in 11; UPFA, eight; and the TNA-ITAK combine, three.
Results declared: 225
|UPFA||UNP||Tamil National Alliance (TNA) /Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK)||Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna||Others|