Sri Lanka's ruling UNF party wins parliamentary polls

Updated: 2015-08-19 08:48


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Sri Lanka's ruling UNF party wins parliamentary polls

A polling officer carries a sealed ballot box to a counting centre in Colombo, August 17, 2015. [Photo/Agencies] 

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka's ruling United National Front (UNF) secured a clean win over the opposition United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary polls held in the island nation on Monday.

According to final results released on Tuesday, the UNF led by Ranil Wickremesinghe won 106 seats in the 225-member parliament, falling just seven seats behind gaining a majority.

However, members from the opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena are expected to pledge their support to the UNF this week, which will give Wickremesinghe's party a clear majority in parliament.

The opposition UPFA, whose main candidate was former President Mahinda Rajapakse, garnered 93 seats in Monday's polls.

National list slots for each party are expected to be announced once the preferential votes for each candidate is discussed by the parties.

Tamil minority party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), won 14 seats, winning in the country's war-torn north of Jaffna District while Sri Lanka's Marxist group, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, got four seats.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the Eelam People's Democratic Front (EPDP) won one seat each.

Wickremesinghe's UNF won in 11 districts out of the country's 22 districts while the UPFA triumphed in 8 and the TNA in 3 districts.

The UNF secured 5,098,927 votes (45.66 percent), followed by the UPFA with 4,732,669 votes (42.38 percent). The JVP secured 543, 944 votes (4.87 percent) while the TNA obtained some 515,963 (4.62 percent) votes.

Wickremesinghe has said he will form a national government with the opposition and minority parties, which will give him a clean majority in parliament.