Mahinda's SLPP says it is heading for victory at polls

Sri Lanka Goes To Polls In Key Test For Ruling Coalition

Sri Lanka Goes To Polls In Key Test For Ruling Coalition

Speaking at a joint press conference, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) GL Peiris said that the results of the election show that President Maithripala Sirisena should take steps to hand over the leadership of the SLFP to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

According to the results, the Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) has garnered 703,117 votes along with 909 seats whereas the United National Party (UNP) has secured 469,986 votes with 459 seats, media reported.

Full official results are expected to be released later today. There are 24 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 275 pradeshiya sabhas, the legislative bodies that preside over the third-tier municipalities in the country, Sri Lanka's Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said, adding that 8375 councillors would be elected. "I earnestly request all those who contested under the SLPP to celebrate this hard-won victory peacefully and with restraint and in a manner that will not inconvenience the defeated side", Rajapakse said in a statement. Earlier, high voter turnout of more than 65 percent was recorded at yesterday's polls signifying anti-incumbency factor. In order to postpone the polls by a year, the government proposed an amendment to the Constitution to hold elections for all nine provincial councils on a single day.

In Tamil-minority areas, the main Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has the lead through its popularity has been dented by breakaway and independent groups.

It was seen by many as an unofficial referendum on the performance of the unity Government so far.

AIR correspondent reports, after his victory, President Mahinda Rajapakse and his team has called for resignation of government and calling of General elections. The latter, though still a member of party, had backed an opposition alliance.

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