Sri Lanka’s ruling SLPP wins parliamentary polls

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in the August 5 parliamentary election by gaining a majority in the new parliament, official statistics from the Elections Commission showed here Friday.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna won 145 seats in the 225-member parliament, making it the single largest party to gain a nearly two-thirds majority in parliament. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya or the United People’s Front, led by former presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa polled in as the runner-up by winning 54 seats while the ITAK, a Tamil political party, won 10 seats.

One of Sri Lanka’s oldest political parties, the United National Party, led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe did not win any seats.

SLPP candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn in as the nation’s new Prime Minister following his party’s victory, likely by the weekend after which a new cabinet will be appointed next week.

According to the country’s constitution, the cabinet will be limited to 30 ministers.

Rajapaksa, in a short statement on his official Twitter account soon after the party’s victory, thanked his voters and expressed gratitude to them for placing their trust in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and himself.

“We will ensure Sri Lanka will not stand disappointed during our tenure,” Rajapaksa said.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a statement released late on Thursday night said he was confident of establishing a strong parliament following the SLPP’s victory.

Sri Lanka held its parliamentary election on Aug. 5 which was declared as one of the most peaceful elections held in the island country’s political history. A 71 percent voter turnout was recorded.

Sri Lanka’s new parliament will convene on August 20.

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