Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 9 October 2011





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Government Gazette

Comfortable wins at Matara, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Hambantota:

UPFA takes early lead

The UPFA was on course to a solid victory at the third stage of the Local Government polls held yesterday, gaining early victories in several areas including Matara, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala Municipal Councils and Hambantota Pradeshiya Sabha.

The ruling UPFA has already won 250 out of 299 Local Government bodies for which elections were held during the first two stages on March 17 and July 23 this year.

The third and the final phase of the Local Government election to elect 420 Members to 17 key Municipal Councils, one Urban Council and five Pradeshiya Sabhas in 13 districts ended yesterday with high enthusiasm from the voters, recording around 55 to 60 overall voter turnout despite the unfortunate incident reported at the tail end of the election day in Mulleriyawa area.

According to the Election Department elections were held at 1,167 polling centres and 1,589,622 voters were eligible to cast their vote.

Except for the fatal shooting incident reported in Mulleriyawa last evening no major incidents were reported in other districts.

“The voters showed a keen interest to cast their votes in all areas where local government elections were held and we are hoping to release official elections results commencing around 10 p.m.,” Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said after the conclusion of the voting yesterday at 4 p.m. yesterday.

The Elections Commissioner also said that steps have also been taken to conduct the counting of ballots in a free and fair manner leaving no room for any complaints regarding the counting process. “We are hoping to release the preferential votes too by 2 p.m. on Sunday,” he added. Senior DIG Elections Gamini Navaratne said that over 21,500 police officers were deployed to ensure a violence-free election.

The biggest number of Members (53) were to be elected for the Colombo Municipal Council for which1121 candidates from nine political parties and 10 independent groups contested. The poll in Colombo was the main focus of the local and international media and political analysts.

UPFA Mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda cast his vote at Alan Mathinyaramaya in Narahenpita while UNP Mayoral candidate M.J.M. Muzzamil cast his vote at Thurstan College Colombo yesterday. The counting of ballot papers commenced after 6.00 p.m. yesterday in 224 counting centres at District Secretariats. The counting centre for the Colombo district was set up at D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo.

At the first round of Local Government elections in March, the UPFA secured 205 LG bodies. The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) won 12 Local Government bodies while the UNP won nine.

The UPFA also secured a comfortable victory in the second phase of the Local Council elections held on July 23, winning 45 of the 65 Local Government bodies.

The main Opposition, the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) failed to win even a single LG body in the second phase of the election.

According to election observers and political analysts the UPFA, which controls over 75 percent of LG bodies prior to yesterday’s elections, was expected to strengthen its grip further.

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