Defeated political parties go back to basics | Sunday Observer

Defeated political parties go back to basics

Parties of the opposition have commenced planning their way forward following the announcement of the election results of the recently concluded General Election. With the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) gaining a two-thirds majority, many other leading parties suffered severe setbacks resulting in the reduction of seats they had secured at the previous election in 2015.

United National Party (UNP )candidate Daya Gamage said the UNP suffered the worst defeat without even a single seat. Daya Gamage blamed the departure of the UNP’s former Deputy leader Sajith Premadasa from the UNP to form the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) for the UNP’s dismal performance. “The party did poorly at the election because Sajith Premadasa’s exit gave the wrong impression to our supporters,” he said. According to Gamage, the party will need to be revamped and reorganised. “We will have to start from zero,” he added.

The SJB led by Sajith Premadasa appeared to be content with the results it received. The SJB secured 54 seats. According to its leader, the SJB is to formulate a plan to face the local government elections. “We are confident that we will be able to face them successfully,” he said. Premadasa said the SJB has become the only political alternative in the country.

The National People Power (NPP) led by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is set to restructure the party after its parliamentary seats were reduced to three. Despite reinventing the JVP to form the NPP, the party’s performance did not improve at the recent election. Its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the party suffered a setback. “We will change the party structure. We will go back to the villages and reach out to the people,” he said.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is expected to begin discussions with its community leaders at the grass roots levels after suffering a similar fate. It contested under the banner of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) at the General Election. TNA Spokesman M.A Sumanthiran said it appears that people have lost faith in the party.

“We expected close to 20 seats, but was only able to secure nearly half of that,” Sumanthiran said. He blamed the inactivity of the ITAK for the severe set back. “The party has failed, its leader and secretary were not even able to keep their parliamentary seats,” he added. Sumanthiran said the party will be restructured to be more people oriented.

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