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Sri Lanka: Party led by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa heads for majority in general elections

The counting of votes is continuing and the Sri Lanka People party (SLPP) is heading for majority votes in at least 16 out of 22 electoral districts. 

The party has won around 67 percent votes in over two million votes counted so far. Samagi Jana balwaega (SJB) led by former minister Sajith Premadasa has emerged as the main opposition party with around 20 percent votes while United National Party (UNP) led by former Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has been relegated to fourth place in many places. SJB is an offshoot of UNP and was formed early this year after Premadasa failed to wrest control of UNP.  

The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has emerged third performing better than the UNP, the oldest party in the country. In Tamil -dominated northern province, Tamil national alliance (TNA) has maintained its supremacy followed by the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), an ally in the current government.

The country adopts a preferential system of voting based on proportional representation to elect a 225 – member parliament. Out of them, 196 members are elected from 22 electoral districts based on votes for political parties and independent groups while rest 29 seats are based on party performance at the national level. 

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking two-thirds majority in parliament and has said that his party will make arrangements to create two-thirds majority in parliament if they fail on their own.

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