Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2004

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13th Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Sri Lanka
2001 ←
2 April 2004
→ 2010

All 225 seats to the Parliament of Sri Lanka
113 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 75.96%
  First party Second party
  Chandrika Kumaratunga.jpg Ranil At UNP Office.jpg
Leader Chandrika Kumaratunga Ranil Wickremasinghe
Party United People's Freedom Alliance United National Front
Leader's seat n/a Colombo District
Last election 109 seats, 45.60% 77 seats, 37.20%
Seats won 105 82
Seat change +12 -27
Popular vote 4,223,970 3,504,200
Percentage 45.60% 37.83%
Swing -0.01% -7.73%

Sri Lankan Parliamentary Election 2004.png

Winners of polling divisions. UPFA in blue and UNF in green.

Prime Minister before election

Ranil Wickremasinghe
United National Front

Prime Minister-designate

Mahinda Rajapaksa
United People's Freedom Alliance

Coat of arms of Sri Lanka, showing a lion holding a sword in its right forepaw surrounded by a ring made from blue lotus petals which is placed on top of a grain vase sprouting rice grains to encircle it. A Dharmacakra is on the top while a sun and moon are at the bottom on each side of the vase.
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sri Lanka

Parliamentary elections were held in Sri Lanka on 2 April 2004. The ruling United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated, winning only eighty two seats in the 225-member Sri Lankan parliament. The opposition United People's Freedom Alliance won 105 seats. While this was eight seats short of an absolute majority, the Alliance was able to form a government.

On 6 April President Chandrika Kumaratunga commissioned Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former Labour Minister, as Prime Minister.

Parties[edit]

The United People's Freedom Alliance was formed as an alliance between President Kumaratunga's party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), and the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. Other parties that belong to the People's Alliance, such as the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, the Democratic United National Front, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya, later joined UPFA.

In the 2001 elections, the People's Alliance and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna had fought separately. Then the JVP won 9.1% of the vote and sixteen seats. At this election it is reported than as many as thirty nine JVP members won seats as UPFA candidates.

The runner-up in the election was the United National Front (UNF), the front led by the United National Party. In addition to the UNP, the UNF also had candidates from minor parties such as Ceylon Workers Congress.

Other parties winning seats were the Buddhist, Sinhala nationalist outfit Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the pro-LTTE alliance Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP). The Democratic Peoples Liberation Front (the political wing of PLOTE) lost their parliamentary representation.

Campaign[edit]

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe's UNF government had been in limbo since October 2003, when President Kumaratunga declared a state of emergency and took three key cabinet portfolios for her party. During the campaign, she argued that Wickremasinghe had been too soft on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and promised to take a harder line. The UNF, for its part, stressed the economic gains that had been made with the ceasefire and the need to find a negotiated solution to the civil war.

Voting[edit]

Polling booths opened at 07:00 local time and remained open until 16:00 (01:00 to 10:00 UTC). A total of 10,670 polling stations were installed to receive votes from 12.9 million eligible voters. Voter turnout was high, at around 75%.

The backdrop to polling day was tense, with continued guerrilla activity by Tamil Tiger separatists and five politically motivated murders in the run-up to the election. However, except for a slightly lower turnout in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and allegations of fraud in the North, the election was calm and orderly.

Sri Lanka's Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said that despite reported cases of electoral malpractice in certain polling stations in six electoral districts, there would be no fresh elections in these areas and the results issued by the Commission were final.

Results[edit]

Summary[edit]

The United People's Freedom Alliance vote and seat totals are compared with the combined People's Alliance and JVP vote and seat counts at the 2001 election.


e • d Summary of the 2004 Sri Lankan parliamentary election
Alliances and parties Votes % Change Seats
District National Total Change
  United People's Freedom Alliance 4,223,970 45.60 -0.01 92 13 105 +12
  United National Front1 3,504,200 37.83 -7.73 71 11 82 -27
  Tamil National Alliance3 633,654 6.84 +2.95 20 2 22 +7
  Jathika Hela Urumaya 554,076 5.97 +5.40 7 2 9 +9
  Sri Lanka Muslim Congress2 186,876 2.02 +0.87 4 1 5 -
  Up-Country People's Front 49,728 0.54 +0.54 1 0 1 +1
  Eelam People's Democratic Party 24,955 0.27 -0.54 1 0 1 -1
  Independent lists 15,865 0.17 * 0 0 0
National Development Front 14,956 0.16 +0.14 0 0 0
  United Socialist Party 14,660 0.16 +0.06 0 0 0
Ceylon Democratic Unity Alliance 10,736 0.12 0 0 0
  New Left Front 8,461 0.09 -0.42 0 0 0
  Democratic People's Liberation Front 7,326 0.08 -0.10 0 0 0 -1
United Muslim People's Alliance 3,779 0.04 0 0 0
United Lalith Front 3,773 0.04 +0.00 0 0 0
National People's Party 1,540 0.02 0 0 0
  Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 1,401 0.02 +0.00 0 0 0
Swarajya 1,136 0.01 0 0 0
  Sri Lanka Progressive Front 814 0.01 +0.00 0 0 0
Ruhuna People's Party 590 0.01 +0.00 0 0 0
Sri Lanka National Front 493 0.01 +0.00 0 0 0
Liberal Party 413 0.00 -0.01 0 0 0
Sri Lanka Muslim Party 382 0.00 -0.01 0 0 0
  Socialist Equality Party 159 0.00 +0.00 0 0 0
Democratic United National Front 141 0.00 -0.01 0 0 0
Valid Votes 9,262,732 100.00 - 196 29 225 -
Rejected Votes 534,948
Total Polled 9,797,680
Registered Electors 12,899,139
Turnout 75.96%
Source: Department of Elections, Sri Lanka
1. The UNF contested under the name and symbol of United National Party.
2. The SLMC contested separately in four districts (Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna and Trincomalee) and with the UNF in all other districts.
3. The TNA contested under the name and symbol of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi.

Province[edit]

Electoral District[edit]

District UNP UPFA Other Valid
Votes
Anuradhapura 148,612 (39.9%)
3 seats
212,943 (57.2%)
5 seats
JHU: 8,034 (2.2%) 372,125
Badulla 181,705 (49.1%)
5 seats
178,634 (48.3%)
3 seats
JHU: 6,932 (1.9%) 370,178
Batticaloa 6,151 (2.5%) 26,268 (10.9%) ITAK: 161,011 (66.7%)
4 seats
SLMC: 43,131 (17.9%)
1 seat
241,375
Colombo 441,841 (41.8%)
9 seats
414,688 (39.2%)
8 seats
JHU: 190,618 (18.0%)
3 seats
1,057,966
Digamadulla 42,121 (14.5%)
1 seat
111,747 (38.5%)
3 seats
SLMC: 76,563 (26.4%)
2 seats
ITAK: 55,533 (19.1%)
1 seat
EPDP: 1,611 (0.5%)
JHU: 1,130 (0.4%)
290,361
Galle 209,399 (38.7%)
4 seats
306,385 (56.6%)
6 seats
JHU: 22,826 (4.2%) 541,511
Gampaha 367,572 (37.1%)
6 seats
509,963 (51.5%)
9 seats
JHU: 102,516 (19.4%)
2 seats
990,002
Hambantota 98,877 (35.4%)
2 seats
178,895 (64.0)
5 seats
JHU: 1,538 (0.5%) 279,310
Jaffna - - ITAK: 257,320 (90.6%)
8 seats
EPDP: 18,612 (6.5%)
1 seat
SLMC: 1,995 (0.7%)
284,026
Kaluthara 212,721 (37.8%)
3 seats
291,208 (51.7%)
6 seats
JHU: 56,615 (10.1)
1 seat
563,019
Kandy 313,859 (50.0%)
6 seats
268,131 (42.7%)
5 seats
JHU: 42,192 (6.7%)
1 seat
627,866
Kegalle 186,641 (44.3%)
4 seats
214,267 (50.9%)
5 seats
JHU: 18,034 (4.3%) 421,131
Kurunegala 340,768 (42.9%)
7 seats
412,157 (51.9%)
9 seats
JHU: 37,459 (4.7%) 793,647
Matale 100,642 (45.7%)
2 seats
108,259 (49.2%)
3 seats
JHU: 8,819 (4.0%) 220,062
Matara 139,633 (34.9%)
3 seats
241,235 (60.3%)
5 seats
JHU: 16,229 (4.0%) 400,233
Monaragala 71,067 (37.0)
2 seats
117,456 (61.1%)
3 seats
JHU: 2,675 (1.4%) 192,113
Nuwara-Eliya 176,971 (54.0%)
4 seats
82,945 (25.3%)
2 seats
JHU: 4,454 (1.4%)
Other: 63,239 (19.3%)
1 seat
327,609
Polonnaruwa 75,664 (40.8%)
2 seats
106,243 (57.3%)
3 seats
JHU: 2,413 (1.3%) 185,261
Puttalam 135,152 (46.6%)
3 seats
142,784 (49.3%)
5 seats
JHU: 10,000 (3.4%) 289,763
Ratnapura 205,490 (41.8%)
4 seats
261,450 (53.1%)
6 seats
JHU: 20,801 (4.2%) 492,003
Trincomalee 15,693 (8.6%) 31,053 (17.0%)
1 seat
ITAK: 68,955 (37.7%)
2 seats
SLMC: 65,187 (35.7%)
1 seat
JHU: 791 (0.4%)
EPDP: 540 (0.3%)
182,794
Vanni 33,621 (23.9%)
1 seat
7,259 (05.2%) ITAK: 90,835 (64.7%)
5 seats
EPDP: 1,097 (0.8%)
140,377

Elected members[edit]

Further information: 13th Sri Lankan Parliament

References[edit]