Sri Lanka’s powerful Rajapaksa family-run Sri Lanka People”s Party (SLPP) appeared to be heading for a landslide win in the country’s 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 five results declared so far from the South, dominated by the Sinhala majority community.
The nearest rival is the new party formed by former presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa who has relegated his mother party, the United National Party (UNP), to the fourth place.
The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) too has performed better than the UNP, the oldest party in the country, official results showed.
In the North, dominated by the Tamil minority community, the main Tamil party has bagged the Jaffna polling division while the Rajapaksa ally in the Tamil north, the Eelam People”s Democratic Party (EPDP) has beaten Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in another Jaffna district polling division.
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.