Western and Southern Provincial Council elections:
UPFA takes early lead
No major incidents - Elections Commissioner:
Voter turnout around 55% - PAFFREL:
The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) took an early lead
in the postal votes at the Western and Southern Provincial Council
elections held yesterday. Early election results at the time of going to
press indicated another landslide victory for the UPFA.
Voting for the two Provincial Councils concluded at 4 pm yesterday.
Voters cast their votes in a peaceful atmosphere with a relatively high
voter turnout reported in almost all districts – Colombo, Gampaha,
Kalutara in the Western PC and Galle, Matara, Hambantota in the Southern
PC, election officials and observers said.
According to the election observers, the overall voter turnout of the
two provinces was around 60 percent in almost all districts. Elections
were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere with no major incidents
reported. At the conclusion of the voting at 4 pm, the local election
monitor PAFFREL forecast a 55 to 60 percent voter turnout in the two
PAFFREL stated that the voter turnout in Colombo was only 49 per ent
while the highest percentage was recorded in the Hambantota District
(61%). A voter percentage of 58% has been recorded in the Matara
District, 55% in the Galle District, 57% in the Gampaha District and 58%
in the Kalutara District.
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that no major incident
was reported on election day.
Only a single election violence incident was reported when supporters
of two rival political parties clashed in the Kankanamgoda Road area in
Beruwala. However, police said the situation was brought under control
following the intervention of the police and STF personnel.
“Compared to previous elections, a lower number of complaints were
received by the Elections Department regarding election law violations
during the elections date , the Commissioner said. Election observers
said voter turnout increased in the afternoon.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa cast his vote at the polling booth at
Medamulana in Weeraketiya around 7.45 am yesterday along with several
Ministers and UPFA Hambantota district parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe cast his vote at a polling
centre at Thurstan College, Colombo 7 while JVP General Secretary Tilvin
Silva cast his vote at the polling centre at Swarnabimbaramaya in
According to a spokesman for the Election Secretariat, there were
4,253 polling centres in the six districts of the two provinces with
3,794 candidates vying for 155 seats in the two Provincial Councils.
Twenty-four political parties and 42 independent groups fielded
candidates for the Western and Southern PC polls.
According to the spokesman all arrangements were in place to take the
ballot boxes to the counting centres yesterday evening under police
escort and counting was due to begin around 5 pm yesterday.
The counting centres in the Colombo District were set up at D. S.
Senanayake College, Royal College and Isipathana College. Two counting
centres in the Gampaha district were set up at the Siyane College of
Education and Bandaranayake Vidyalaya.
The Pasdunrata College of Education and Tissa Vidyalaya functioned as
counting centres in the Kalutara district.
The Galle district counting centres were set up at the Southlands
College and Technical College while Technical College in Medawatta and
Rohana Vidyalaya in Wellamadama functioned as counting centres.
Hambantota District counting centre had been set up at the Suchi
The Elections Commissioner said except for Colombo and Gampaha
districts, preferential votes in other districts will be announced by 12
One hundred and two members for the Western Provincial Council and 53
members for the Southern Provincial Council will be elected and four
bonus seats would be given including two for each province for the
winning parties. Recognised political parties and Independent groups had
fielded 2,743 candidates in the Western Province and 1,051 candidates in
the Southern Province.
Over 4,024,614 people in the Western Province and 1,873,804 people in
the Southern Province were eligible to vote at yesterday’s PC elections
at 4253 polling centres. In addition, 70,000 Government officers and
26,000 Police officers had been assigned on election duty. The police
had also placed special security arrangements including mobile check-ups
at polling booths.