Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 1994

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10th Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Sri Lanka
1989 ←
16 August 1994 → 2000

All 225 seats to the Parliament of Sri Lanka
113 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 76.24%
  First party Second party
  Chandrika Kumaratunga.jpg
Leader Chandrika Kumaratunga D. B. Wijetunga
Party People's Alliance United National Party
Leader's seat Gampaha District n/a
Seats won 105 94
Popular vote 3,887,823 3,498,370
Percentage 48.94% 44.04%

Sri Lankan Parliamentary Election 1994.png

Winners of polling divisions. PA in blue and UNP in green.

Prime Minister before election

Ranil Wickremasinghe
United National Party

Prime Minister-designate

Chandrika Kumaratunga
People's Alliance

The Sri Lankan parliamentary election of 1994 marked the decisive end of 17 years of UNP rule and a revival of Sri Lankan democracy.

Background[edit]

Democracy in Sri Lanka had seemed doomed as the presidencies of J.R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa arbitrarily banned opposition parties, severely muzzled the media, and routinely used death squads, torture, and kidnappings in the two civil conflicts against the LTTE and JVP. The UNP had simply cancelled the 1983 parliamentary elections; its control of the media led it to victory in the 1988 and 1989 elections.

The population was increasingly tired of war and repression, worn out with jingoistic Sinhalese nationalism, and wanted a return to freedom, peace, and democracy. Chandrika Kumaratunga, leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, formed a coalition with small leftists parties called the People's Alliance. This was in some ways a revival of her mother's coalition from the 1970s, but this time campaigning for rapprochement with the Tamils rather than their marginalization.

Results[edit]

The PA did not win a majority, but was able to govern with the support of the smaller parties.

Summary[edit]

e • d Summary of the 1994 Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Alliances and parties Votes % Seats
District National Total
  People's Alliance 3,887,823 48.94 91 14 105
  United National Party 3,498,370 44.04 81 13 94
  Eelam People's Democratic Party1 10,744 0.14 9 0 9
  Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 143,307 1.80 6 1 7
  Tamil United Liberation Front 132,461 1.67 4 1 5
  Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students /
People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam /
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization2
38,028 0.48 3 0 3
  Sri Lanka Progressive Front 90,078 1.13 1 0 1
  Up-Country People's Front3 27,374 0.34 1 0 1
  Mahajana Eksath Peramuna 68,538 0.86 0 0 0
  Independents 33,809 0.43 0 0 0
  Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front 9,411 0.12 0 0 0
  Nava Sama Samaja Party 2,094 0.03 0 0 0
People's Freedom Front 813 0.01 0 0 0
  Democratic Workers' Congress 589 0.01 0 0 0
  Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 267 0.00 0 0 0
Valid Votes 7,943,706 100.00 196 29 225
Rejected Votes 400,389
Total Polled 8,344,095
Registered Electors 10,945,065
Turnout 76.24%
Source: Department of Elections, Sri Lanka
1. EPDP contested as an independent group in Jaffna District.
2. The EROS/PLOTE/TELO alliance contested as TELO in Ampara District, Batticaloa District, Colombo District
and Trincomalee District; as DPLF in Vanni District; and as in an independent group in Jaffna District.
3. UCPF contested as an independent group in Nuwara Eliya District.

Province[edit]

Electoral District[edit]

Elected members[edit]

Further information: 10th Sri Lankan Parliament

Legacy[edit]

The 1994 election did not live up to its great hopes. The PA government was unable to come to an agreement with the LTTE, and ended up prosecuting war just as brutally as its UNP predecessor. The Executive Presidency, which Kumaratunga had promised to abolish, remains as powerful as ever.

References[edit]