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Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2010

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Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2010

14th Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Sri Lanka
width="" colspan=4 |
2004 ←
8 April 2010
→ 2016
width="" colspan=4 |

width="" colspan = 4 style="text-align: center" | All 225 seats to the Parliament of Sri Lanka
113 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
 
Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa Ranil Wickremasinghe
Party United People's Freedom Alliance United National Front
Leader's seat n/a Colombo District
Last election 105 seats, 45.60% 82 seats, 37.83%
Seats won 144 60
Seat change + 39 − 22
Popular vote 4,846,388 2,357,057
Percentage 60.33% 29.34%

  Third party Fourth party
  105px
Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan Sarath Fonseka
Party Tamil National Alliance Democratic National Alliance
Leader's seat Trincomalee District Colombo District
Last election 22 seats, 6.84% -
Seats won 14 7
Seat change − 8 + 7
Popular vote 233,190 441,251
Percentage 2.90% 5.49%
width="" style="text-align: center" colspan=4 |

width="" colspan=4 style="text-align: center" | Winners of polling divisions. UPFA in blue, UNF in green and TNA in yellow.
width="" colspan=4 |
Prime Minister before election

Ratnasiri Wickremanayake
United People's Freedom Alliance

Prime Minister-designate

D. M. Jayaratne
United People's Freedom Alliance

The 2010 Sri Lankan parliamentary election was held on April 8 and April 20, 2010, to elect 225 members to Sri Lanka's 14th Parliament.[1] 14,088,500 Sri Lankans were eligible to vote in the election at 11,102 polling stations. It was the first general election held in Sri Lanka following the conclusion of the 30 year long civil war.

The main parties contesting in the election were the party of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the main opposition United National Front (UNF) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) of Sarath Fonseka. President Rajapakse was previously reelected as president in January 2010.

As expected, the UPFA secured a landslide victory in the elections, buoyed by its achievement of ending the 30 year Sri Lankan Civil War by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009. The UPFA won a large majority in the house, obtaining 144 seats, an increase of 39 since the 2004 election. The main opposition UNF is won 60 seats, a decline of 22. The minority Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 14 seats, down from the 22 they won in 2004, and the DNA, contesting for the first time, won 7 seats.[2][3] The UPFA however fell short of its goal of obtaining a two-thirds supermajority in the house, which it would have needed to change the constitution on its own.[4] The election saw the lowest voter turnout since independence.[5]

While the election was initially scheduled to be concluded on April 8, irregularities in two districts led the Commissioner of Elections to hold re-polls on April 20. Final results were announced on the 21st, a day before the new parliament is scheduled to meet for the very first time.

Background

General elections are usually held every six years in Sri Lanka, to elect 225 members to the Parliament of Sri Lanka. The country is divided into 22 electoral districts, and each district is assigned a specific number of seats depending on the districts population, with 196 seats distributed among the districts. At the election, parties contesting in a given district are awarded a certain number of seats available from the district based on the number of votes obtained in the whole district. The remaining 29 seats are distributed amongst the contesting political parties based on the percentage of the national vote received by each party.[6]

The previous parliamentary election was held on April 2, 2004. The newly formed UPFA alliance became the largest group in Parliament by winning 105 of the 225 seats, allowing it to form a minority government with the support of the sole Eelam People's Democratic Party MP.[7][8] On April 6, 2004, President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leader of the UPFA, as the new Prime Minister.[9] The rest of the government were sworn in on April 10, 2004.[10][11] The new parliament was sworn in on April 22, 2004.[12]

Since then a number of defections and counter-defections from the opposition have increased the number of government MPs to 129, most of whom have been rewarded with ministerial posts:[13]

This has allowed the UPFA form a stable government for six years.

Following the expiration of the second term of President Kumaratunge, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse defeated the leader of the United National Party and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in the 2005 Presidential election. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. Under Rajapakse, the Sri Lankan military defeated the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group in May 2009, ending the 30 year Sri Lankan Civil War and significantly increasing Rajapaksa's popularity in the country. Rajapaksa rode this wave of popularity to win the 2010 Presidential election, defeating opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka by a large margin.

Details

With the term of the 13th Parliament (also known as the 6th Parliament) scheduled to end in April 2010, Rajapaksa dissolved parliament on February 9, 2010, paving the way for fresh elections.[1] Nominations took place between February 19 and February 26, and the date of the election was set for April 8, 2010.[1] 14,088,500 Sri Lankans were eligible to vote in the election, for which 11,102 polling stations were set up. Of this, 415,432 people were eligible to cast their vote via postal voting. Final votes were counted at 1,387 counting centers around the country.[32]

Since the 2004 election, there were four changes to number of seats allocated to each electoral district. Anuradhapura and Gampaha gained one seat each while Colombo and Kurunegala lost a seat each.[33]

Contesting parties

All the constituent parties of the ruling UPFA contested under its banner. The parliamentary opposition parties (UNF, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and (TNA), who had come together to support common opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka at the presidential election, were unable to form a common alliance to contest in the election. Therefore the UNF and the TNA contested alone, while Fonseka and the JVP allied to form a new alliance called the Democratic National Alliance (DNA). Fonseka was the DNA's chief candidate in Colombo district.[34]

The UPFA, UNF and DNA contested in all 22 electoral districts while the TNA contested in the 5 districts in the north and east.[35] The UNF contested under the name and symbol of the United National Party, as it had done in the previous two parliamentary elections.[35] The TNA contested under the name and symbol of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, as it did in the last parliamentary election.[35]

A record 7,680 candidates contested for the 196 district seats.[35]

Violence and violations of election laws

Sri Lankan elections have a history of violence, misuse of state resources, and other violations of election laws. 274 incidents had been reported to the police up to 5 April.[36] The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) recorded 413 incidents up to 7 April.[37] The CMEV has stated that it is impossible to say if the election had been "free and fair".[38] People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) recorded 270 incidents up to 7 April.[39] The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has stated that the election was not free and fair.[40] CaFFE condemned the police and election commissioner for not enforcing electoral law.[41] The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) also recorded a number of violations.[42]

A significant feature of the violence was the intra-party clashes between UPFA candidates.

On the day of the election, there were a number of elections violations reported around the country. The violations in the Nawalapitiya electorate of the Kandy District were serious enough for the Elections Commissioner to nullify the voting in some areas of the electorate and order a re-poll.[43] Results from the Trincomalee District were also suspended as some ballot papers had been stolen.[44] Re-polling for the effected polling areas took place on April 20.[45]

Results

District by district

e • d  District by district results of the Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2010
District Province UPFA UNP DNA ITAK Others Total seats Turnout
Votes Seats   +/-   Votes Seats   +/-   Votes Seats   +/-   Votes Seats   +/-   Seats
    bgcolor= colspan="3"|     
Colombo Western 480,896 10 +2 339,750 7 −2 110,683 2 +2 DNC 0 19 65%
Gampaha 589,476 12 +3 266,523 5 −1 69,747 1 +1 DNC 0 18 67%
Kalutara 313,836 7 +1 139,596 2 −1 36,722 1 +1 DNC 0 10 67%
Mahanuwara Central 339,819 8 +3 192,798 4 −2 23,728 0 - DNC 0 12 64%
Matale 131,069 4 +1 55,737 1 −1 7,636 0 - DNC 0 5 60%
Nuwara Eliya 149,111 5 +3 96,885 2 − 2 3,984 0 - DNC 0 7 66%
Galle Southern 305,307 7 +1 120,101 2 −2 33,663 1 +1 DNC 0 10 64%
Matara 213,937 6 +1 91,114 2 −1 20,465 0 - DNC 0 8 59%
Hambantota 174,808 5 - 83,027 2 - 19,186 0 - DNC 0 7 69%
Jaffna Northern 47,622 3 +3 12,624 1 +1 201 0 - 65,119 5 −3 0 9 23%
Vanni 37,522 2 +2 12,783 1 - 301 0 - 41,673 3 −2 0 6 44%
Batticaloa Eastern 62,009 1 +1 22,935 1 +1 324 0 - 66,235 3 −1 0 5 59%
Digamadulla 132,096 4 +1 90,757 2 +1 2,917 0 - 26,895 1 - 0 7 74%
Trincomalee 59,784 2 +1 39,691 1 +1 2,519 0 - 33,268 1 −1 0 4 62%
Kurunegala North Western 429,316 10 +1 213,713 5 −2 26,440 0 - DNC 0 15 61%
Puttalam 167,769 6 +1 81,152 2 −1 8,792 0 - DNC 0 8 57%
Anuradhapura North Central 221,204 7 +2 80,360 2 −1 18,129 0 - DNC 0 9 61%
Polonnauwa 118,694 4 +1 45,732 1 −1 6,457 0 - DNC 0 5 66%
Badulla Uva 203,689 6 +3 112,886 2 −3 15,768 0 - DNC 0 8 65%
Monaragala 120,634 4 +1 28,892 1 −1 9,018 0 - DNC 0 5 56%
Ratnapura Sabaragamuwa 305,327 7 +1 125,076 3 −1 11,053 0 - DNC 0 10 65%
Kegalle 242,463 7 +2 104,925 2 −2 13,518 0 - DNC 0 9 63%
National List 17 +4 9 −2 2 +2 1 −1 0 29 -
Total 4,846,388 144 +39 2,357,057 60 −22 441,251 7 +7 233,190 14 −8 0 225 61%
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Overall

e • d Summary of the 2010 Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Alliances and parties Votes % Seats
District National Total
  United People's Freedom Alliance 4,846,388 60.33% 127 17 144
  United National Front3 2,357,057 29.34% 51 9 60
  Tamil National Alliance4 233,190 2.90% 13 1 14
bgcolor=|  Democratic National Alliance 441,251 5.49% 5 2 7
Independent lists 38,947 0.48% 0 0 0
bgcolor=|  Up-Country People's Front2 24,670 0.31% 0 0 0
Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal 20,284 0.25% 0 0 0
bgcolor=|  Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 12,170 0.15% 0 0 0
  Tamil United Liberation Front 9,223 0.11% 0 0 0
  Tamil National People's Front5 7,544 0.09% 0 0 0
bgcolor=|  Democratic People's Liberation Front 6,036 0.08% 0 0 0
Sri Lanka National Front 5,313 0.07% 0 0 0
Others 31,644 0.39% 0 0 0
Valid Votes 8,033,717 100.00% 196 29 225
Rejected Votes 596,972
Total Polled 8,630,689
Registered Electors 14,088,500
Turnout 61.26%
Source: All Ceylon Tamil Congress.

Elected members

See also

References

External links

  • The Parliament of Sri Lanka
  • Department of Elections
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