Rajapaksa's party returns to power in Lanka

Rajapaksa's party returns to power in  Lanka

Sri Lankan ruling party's supporters fly national flags as they celebrate election victory in Colombo on April 9, 2010.AFP With results for 45 seats for the 14th Parliament yet to be declared, pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance got 12 while Fonseka's JVP-dominated Democratic National Alliance (DNA) received just five seats so far, officials said.
The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the polls comfortably with 117 seats against a fractured opposition but appears unlikely to secure a two-third majority. Former Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe's main opposition UNP-led United National Front received 46 seats.

"We have already won this election," Information Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. "People have given the President a strong Parliament as never before."

A party needs 113 seats to get a simple majority and form government.
In Sri Lanka, the general elections directly decide 196 seats while the remaining 29 members are chosen based on the percentage of votes secured by each party.
Tissa Attanayake, the General Secretary of United National Party (UNP) -- the main constituent of UNF, earlier in the day alleged that there were obstructions towards the conduct of a free and fair general election.

Countering his charges, Maithreepala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan Freedom Party which is the key part of UPFA, said all necessary measures were taken for a free and fair election.
He claimed a high number of people turned up to vote for the UPFA while supporters of the opposition largely did not cast their ballots.|

Sirisena attributed the low voter turnout at the general election as against the January 26 Presidential polls in which Rajapaksa defeated Fonseka, to the opposition not actively engaging in the campaigning.

General Secretary of Fonseka-led opposition Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Vijitha Herath said his group was hopeful of making its presence felt in new Parliament.
More than 14 million people were eligible to vote in yesterday's polls in which 7,620 candidates from 36 political parties and 310 independent groups took part. According to independent poll monitors, around 50 per cent people cast their ballots.
The 13th Parliament was elected for a six-year term in 2004, when the UPFA had come to power after securing 105 seats against Wickremesinghe-led UNP's 82.
In the 2004 polls, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had bagged 22 seats while the Buddhist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) had got nine. Those elections saw a voter turnout of over 60 per cent.

The tenure of the present Parliament was scheduled to end on April 22, but it was dissolved by the President two months ahead of schedule.Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya thanked all parties which took part in the general elections for their support towards the conduct of a peaceful election.

He said there were no serious election-related incident in any part of the country.
During the general election in 2004, 2,080 complaints were received while the figure during this general election was only 323, the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Security measures, including mobile patrols and special road blocks, were still on.
According to the Parliamentary Elections Act, it is prohibited to hold meetings and parades for seven days from the day of election, senior DIG in-charge of elections, Gamini Navarathne, told reporters.

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