Friday, March 18, 2011

Elections for Local Governmental Bodies in Sri Lanka

Elections for 234 local governmental bodies was held yesterday, March 17, 2011. It was, once more, a landslide victory for the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) which won in 205 LG bodies. The election was held throughout the island except in Municipal Councils and in LG bodies where there are pending court cases regarding the nominations.

The election saw two important developments with respect to the main opposition parties, the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna-People's Liberation Front-(JVP). The former, which has been not internally 'united' has seen a small swing of votes towards it compared to the last general election. The latter, which was at its peak of popularity at last LG elections a few years ago, has suffered a total reversal of fortune. Whatever they may say, the fact that they have been rebuffed severely is an undeniable fact. They lost at Thissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha, the sole LG body under their control for nearly a decade.

As usual, the UPFA rode home largely due to the rural support base. If the elections were held in the larger cities simultaneously, the UNP share of votes would have increased.

Also, the election was a significant development in the return of local civil administration in the Northern Province. Elections were held in the majority of LG bodies in Mannar, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya districts.

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