Comfortable wins at Matara, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala
UPFA takes early lead
The UPFA was on course to a solid victory at the third stage of the
Local Government polls held yesterday, gaining early victories in
several areas including Matara, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala Municipal
Councils and Hambantota Pradeshiya Sabha.
The ruling UPFA has already won 250 out of 299 Local Government
bodies for which elections were held during the first two stages on
March 17 and July 23 this year.
The third and the final phase of the Local Government election to
elect 420 Members to 17 key Municipal Councils, one Urban Council and
five Pradeshiya Sabhas in 13 districts ended yesterday with high
enthusiasm from the voters, recording around 55 to 60 overall voter
turnout despite the unfortunate incident reported at the tail end of the
election day in Mulleriyawa area.
According to the Election Department elections were held at 1,167
polling centres and 1,589,622 voters were eligible to cast their vote.
Except for the fatal shooting incident reported in Mulleriyawa last
evening no major incidents were reported in other districts.
“The voters showed a keen interest to cast their votes in all areas
where local government elections were held and we are hoping to release
official elections results commencing around 10 p.m.,” Elections
Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said after the conclusion of the voting
yesterday at 4 p.m. yesterday.
The Elections Commissioner also said that steps have also been taken
to conduct the counting of ballots in a free and fair manner leaving no
room for any complaints regarding the counting process. “We are hoping
to release the preferential votes too by 2 p.m. on Sunday,” he added.
Senior DIG Elections Gamini Navaratne said that over 21,500 police
officers were deployed to ensure a violence-free election.
The biggest number of Members (53) were to be elected for the Colombo
Municipal Council for which1121 candidates from nine political parties
and 10 independent groups contested. The poll in Colombo was the main
focus of the local and international media and political analysts.
UPFA Mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda cast his vote at Alan
Mathinyaramaya in Narahenpita while UNP Mayoral candidate M.J.M.
Muzzamil cast his vote at Thurstan College Colombo yesterday. The
counting of ballot papers commenced after 6.00 p.m. yesterday in 224
counting centres at District Secretariats. The counting centre for the
Colombo district was set up at D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo.
At the first round of Local Government elections in March, the UPFA
secured 205 LG bodies. The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) won 12
Local Government bodies while the UNP won nine.
The UPFA also secured a comfortable victory in the second phase of
the Local Council elections held on July 23, winning 45 of the 65 Local
The main Opposition, the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) failed to win even a single LG body in the
second phase of the election.
According to election observers and political analysts the UPFA,
which controls over 75 percent of LG bodies prior to yesterday’s
elections, was expected to strengthen its grip further.