Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 1994
|Winners of polling divisions. PA in blue and UNP in green.|
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.
The PA did not win a majority, but was able to govern with the support of the smaller parties.
|Alliances and parties||Votes||%||Seats|
|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
|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|
|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|
|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.
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.
- "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1994". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka.
- "Table 40 Parliament Election (1994)". Sri Lanka Statistics. 10 February 2009.
- "Sri Lanka Parliamentary Chamber: Parliament Elections Held in 1994". Inter-Parliamentary Union.