Sri Lankan provincial council elections, 2008–09

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5th Sri Lankan provincial council election
Sri Lanka
2004 ←
10 May 2008, 23 August 2008, 14 February 2009
25 April 2009, 8 August 2009, 10 October 2009
→ 2012

417 seats across 8 provincial councils
Turnout 65.84%
  First party Second party
  Mahinda Rajapaksa.jpg Ranil At UNP Office.jpg
Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa Ranil Wickremasinghe
Party United People's Freedom Alliance United National Party
Popular vote 5,137,170 2,609,386
Percentage 63.10% 32.05%
Councillors 269 131
Councils 8 0

Sri Lankan Provincial Election 2008-09.png

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

Sri Lanka has held several rounds of Provincial Council elections in 2008 and 2009 to elect members to eight of the country’s Provincial Councils. The decision to hold elections in different parts of the country on separate days was a break in the usual practice, which is to hold elections for the whole country on the same day. For each provincial council, members are elected to serve a five-year term. A chief minister for the province is chosen by the elected members.

The first election was held in May 2008 to elect members to Sri Lanka's Eastern Provincial Council. In August 2008, elections were held in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. In 2009, elections were held for Central and North Western Provincial Councils in February, for the Western Provincial Council in April, for the Uva Provincial Council in August and for the Southern Provincial Council in October. No election was held for the ninth provincial council, Northern, which had been governed directly by the national government since it was demerged from the North Eastern Provincial Council in January 2007.

The elections were largely seen as a referendum on the handling of the civil war by Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse.[1] Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance and its allies registered resounding victories over the opposition United National Party in all the elections.[2][3]

Background[edit]

In an attempt to end the Sri Lankan Civil War the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed on 29 July 1987. One of the requirements of the accord was that the Sri Lankan government to devolve powers to the provinces.[4] Accordingly on 14 November 1987 the Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987.[5][6] On 3 February 1988 nine provincial councils were created by order.[7] The first elections for provincial councils took place on 28 April 1988 in North Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, and Uva provinces.[8] On 2 June 1988 elections were held for provincial councils for Central, Southern and Western provinces. The United National Party (UNP), which was in power nationally, won control of all seven provincial councils.

The Indo-Lanka Accord also required the merger of the Eastern and Northern provinces into one administrative unit. The accord required a referendum to be held by 31 December 1988 in the Eastern Province to decide whether the merger should be permanent. Crucially, the accord allowed the Sri Lankan president to postpone the referendum at his discretion.[4] On September 2 and 8 1988 President Jayewardene issued proclamations enabling the Eastern and Northern provinces to be one administrative unit administered by one elected council, creating the North Eastern Province.[7] Elections in the newly merged North Eastern Province were held on 19 November 1988. The Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front, an Indian backed paramilitary group, won control of the North Eastern provincial council.

On 1 March 1990, just as the Indian Peace Keeping Force were preparing to withdraw from Sri Lanka, Annamalai Varatharajah Perumal, Chief Minister of the North Eastern Province, moved a motion in the North Eastern Provincial Council declaraing an independent Eelam.[9] President Premadasa reacted to Permual's UDI by dissolving the provincial council and imposing direct rule on the province.

The 2nd Sri Lankan provincial council election was held in 1993 in seven provinces. The UNP retained control of six provincial councils but lost control of the largest provincial council, Western, to the opposition People's Alliance. A special election was held in Southern Province in 1994 after some UNP provincial councillors defected to the opposition. The PA won the election and took control of the Southern Provincial Council.

The 3rd Sri Lankan provincial council election was held in 1999 in seven provinces. The PA, which was now in power nationally, managed to win the majority of seats in two provinces (North Central and North Western). It was also able to form a majority administration in the other five provinces with the support of smaller parties such as the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) . The UNP regained control of the Central Provincial Council in 2002 after the CWC councillors crossed over to the opposition.[10]

The 4th Sri Lankan provincial council election was held in 2004 in seven provinces. The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the successor to the PA, won all seven provinces.

Results[edit]

The nine provinces of the country

The UPFA won all eight provinces.

Overall[edit]

Party / Alliance Votes % Seats
United People's Freedom Alliance1 5,137,170 63.10% 269
United National Party2 2,609,386 32.05% 131
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 234,442 2.88% 12
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress2 60,091 0.74% 2
Independents 15,789 0.19% 0
Democratic Unity Alliance 12,512 0.15% 1
Up-Country People's Front 10,645 0.13% 1
Ceylon Workers' Congress1 10,163 0.12% 0
United Socialist Party 9,024 0.11% 0
Tamil Democratic National Alliance 7,714 0.09% 1
United National Alliance 7,098 0.09% 0
Eelam People's Democratic Party 5,418 0.07% 0
Left Front 4,771 0.06% 0
National Development Front 3,558 0.04% 0
National Congress 3,404 0.04% 0
Eelavar Democratic Front 2,275 0.03% 0
Ruhuna People's Party 1,618 0.02% 0
United Lanka People's Party 911 0.01% 0
New Sinhala Heritage 838 0.01% 0
United Lanka Great Council 803 0.01% 0
Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 700 0.01% 0
Socialist Equality Party 503 0.01% 0
Sri Lanka Progressive Front 475 0.01% 0
Janasetha Peramuna 306 0.00% 0
People's Front of Liberation Tigers 383 0.00% 0
Patriotic National Front 379 0.00% 0
All Lanka Tamil United Front 378 0.00% 0
National People's Party 302 0.00% 0
Democratic United National Front 107 0.00% 0
Muslim Liberation Front 49 0.00% 0
Sri Lanka National Front 30 0.00% 0
Liberal Party 20 0.00% 0
Valid Votes 8,141,262 100.00% 417
Rejected Votes 427,543
Total Polled 8,568,805
Registered Electors 13,013,731
Turnout 65.84%
1. CWC contested with the UPFA in Central and Uva provinces.
2. SLMC contested with the UNP in Eastern province.

Central Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the February 14, 2009 Sri Lanka Central Provincial Council election results
Party Kandy Matale Nuwara Eliya Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats Votes Seats 2004 2009 +/− Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 363,490 18 140,295 7 146,418 9 30 [1]36 +6 650,203  59.53%
  United National Party 237,827 12 56,009 3 128,289 7 26 22 −4 422,125  38.65%
Total 643,617 30 218,406 10 309,666 16 58 58 0 1,167,336  100%
Voter turnout:   66.84 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats

Eastern Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the May 10, 2008 Sri Lanka Eastern Provincial Council election results
Party Batticaloa Ampara Trincolmalee Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats Votes Seats Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 105,341 6 144,247 8 59,298 4 [1]20 308,886  52.21%
  United National Party 58,602 4 121,272 6 70,858 5 15 250,732  42.38%
  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 379 0 4,745 0 4,266 1 1 9,390  1.59%
  Tamizh Democratic National Alliance 7,714 1 - - - - 1 7,714  1.30%
Total 202,443 11 272,392 14 150,624 10 37 646,456  100%
Voter turnout:   65.78 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats

North Central Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the August 23, 2008 Sri Lanka North Central Provincial Council election results
Party Anuradhapura Polonnaruwa Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats 2004 2009 +/− Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 199,547 12 107,910 6 22 [1]20 −2 307,457  56.37%
  United National Party 142,019 8 63,265 4 10 12 +2 205,284  37.64%
  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 19,357 1 7,381 0 [2]0 1 +1 26,738  4.90%
Total 382,677 21 190,845 10 33 33 0 573,522  100%
Voter turnout:   67.75 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats
2. ^ Contested in 2004 as part of the UPFA

North Western Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the February 14, 2009 Sri Lanka North Western Provincial Council election results
Party Kurunegala Puttalam Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats 2004 2009 +/− Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 497,366 24 171,377 11 31 [1]37 +6 668,743  69.43%
  United National Party 193,548 9 76,799 5 19 14 −5 270,347  28.07%
  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 16,084 1 4,344 0 [2]0 1 +1 20,428  2.12%
Total 735,846 34 274,014 16 52 52 0 1,009,860  100%
Voter turnout:   60.77 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats
2. ^ Contested in 2004 as part of the UPFA

Sabaragamuwa Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the August 23, 2008 Sri Lanka Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council election results
Party Ratnapura Polonnaruwa Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats 2004 2009 +/− Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 260,218 13 212,571 7 28 [1]25 −3 472,789  55.34%
  United National Party 191,996 10 154,325 7 15 17 +2 346,321  40.53%
  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 9,703 1 9,365 1 [2]0 2 +2 19,068  2.23%
Total 497,013 24 404,660 18 44 44 0 901,673  100%
Voter turnout:   68.37 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats
2. ^ Contested in 2004 as part of the UPFA

Southern Province[edit]

Results of the 6th Southern provincial council election held on 10 October 2009:

Party / Alliance Galle Hambantota Matara Bonus
Seats
Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
United People's Freedom Alliance 354,000 68.34% 16 192,961 66.95% 8 257,110 67.97% 12 2 804,071 67.88% 38
United National Party 140,175 27.06% 6 62,391 21.65% 3 94,614 25.01% 5 297,180 25.09% 14
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 19,958 3.85% 1 31,734 11.01% 1 20,687 5.47% 1 72,379 6.11% 3
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 2,273 0.44% 0 4,280 1.13% 0 6,553 0.55% 0
Independents 260 0.05% 0 389 0.13% 0 343 0.09% 0 992 0.08% 0
United National Alliance 500 0.10% 0 371 0.10% 0 871 0.07% 0
United Socialist Party 366 0.07% 0 221 0.08% 0 218 0.06% 0 805 0.07% 0
National Development Front 174 0.06% 0 294 0.08% 0 468 0.04% 0
United Lanka People's Party 57 0.01% 0 217 0.08% 0 274 0.02% 0
Janasetha Peramuna 89 0.02% 0 52 0.02% 0 98 0.03% 0 239 0.02% 0
United Lanka Great Council 19 0.00% 0 55 0.02% 0 36 0.01% 0 110 0.01% 0
Socialist Equality Party 95 0.02% 0 95 0.01% 0
Left Front 92 0.02% 0 92 0.01% 0
Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 36 0.01% 0 23 0.01% 0 32 0.01% 0 91 0.01% 0
Sri Lanka Progressive Front 38 0.01% 0 14 0.00% 0 34 0.01% 0 86 0.01% 0
Democratic Unity Alliance 61 0.02% 0 61 0.01% 0
Ruhuna People's Party 21 0.00% 0 31 0.01% 0 52 0.00% 0
National People's Party 49 0.01% 0 49 0.00% 0
Patriotic National Front 43 0.01% 0 43 0.00% 0
Valid Votes 518,028 100.00% 23 288,231 100.00% 12 378,252 100.00% 18 2 1,184,511 100.00% 55
Rejected Votes 21,952 13,403 16,727 52,082
Total Polled 539,980 301,634 394,979 1,236,593
Registered Electors 761,815 421,186 578,858 1,761,859
Turnout 70.88% 71.62% 68.23% 70.19%

Uva Province[edit]

The Uva Provincial Council was prematurely dissolved on 29 May 2009 by governor Nanda Mathew.[11] The term of the council was due to expire in August.[12] The Election Commissioner subsequently announced that nominations will be received from June 17 to June 23, to elect 21 members from the Badulla District and 11 members from the Monaragala District.[13] After the close of nominations, the date of the elections was announced as 8 August 2009.[14]

Results of the 5th Uva provincial council election held on 8 August 2009:

Party / Alliance Badulla Monaragala Bonus
Seats
Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
United People's Freedom Alliance 259,069 67.79% 14 159,837 81.32% 9 2 418,906 72.39% 25
United National Party 98,635 25.81% 5 30,509 15.52% 2 129,144 22.32% 7
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 9,007 2.36% 1 5,632 2.87% 0 14,639 2.53% 1
Up-Country People's Front 9,227 2.41% 1 9,227 1.59% 1
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 4,150 1.09% 0 4,150 0.72% 0
United National Alliance 503 0.13% 0 503 0.09% 0
Democratic Unity Alliance 481 0.13% 0 481 0.08% 0
National Development Front 247 0.06% 0 226 0.11% 0 473 0.08% 0
United Socialist Party 276 0.07% 0 153 0.08% 0 429 0.07% 0
Independents 337 0.09% 0 90 0.05% 0 427 0.07% 0
United Lanka Great Council 56 0.01% 0 62 0.03% 0 118 0.02% 0
Janasetha Peramuna 67 0.02% 0 67 0.01% 0
Patriotic National Front 44 0.01% 0 20 0.01% 0 64 0.01% 0
Sri Lanka Progressive Front 31 0.01% 0 10 0.01% 0 41 0.01% 0
Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputra Pakshaya 30 0.01% 0 10 0.01% 0 40 0.01% 0
Valid Votes 382,160 100.00% 21 196,549 100.00% 11 2 578,709 100.00% 34
Rejected Votes 24,455 9,969 34,424
Total Polled 406,615 206,518 613,133
Registered Electors 574,814 300,642 875,456
Turnout 70.74% 68.69% 70.04%

Western Province[edit]

e • d  Summary of the April 24, 2009 Sri Lanka Western Provincial Council election results
Party Colombo Gampaha Kaluthara Seats Popular Vote
Votes Seats Votes Seats Votes Seats 2004 2009 +/− Vote  %
  United People's Freedom Alliance 530,370 25 624,530 27 351,215 14 59 [1]68 +9 1,506,115  64.73%
  United National Party 327,571 15 236,256 10 124,426 5 39 30 −9 688,253  29.58%
  Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 21,787 1 21,491 1 13,106 1 [2]0 3 +3 56,384  2.43%
  Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 18,978 1 18,014 1 12,396 0 4 2 −2 49,388  2.12%
  Democratic Unity Alliance 8,584 1 1,424 0 1,962 0 1 1 0 11,970  0.51%
Total 957,035 43 932,360 39 526,484 20 104 104 0 2,415,879  100%
Voter turnout:   63.24 %
Source: Sri Lanka Department of Elections

Notes:

1. ^ Includes 2 bonus seats
2. ^ Contested in 2004 as part of the UPFA

References[edit]

  1. ^ "War on terror vote won by MR". The Island. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  2. ^ "Editorial: "UNPRECEDENTED VICTORY"". The Daily News. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  3. ^ "UPFA up, up and away". The Daily Mirror. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-06-15. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Indo Sri Lanka Agreement, 1987". TamilNation. 
  5. ^ "Introduction". Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka. Government of Sri Lanka. 
  6. ^ "Amendments to the 1978 Constitution". Official Website of the Government of Sri Lanka. Government of Sri Lanka. 
  7. ^ a b "North-East merger illegal: SC". LankaNewspapers.com. 17 October 2006. 
  8. ^ "Ethnic Conflict of Sri Lanka: Time Line - From Independence to 1999". International Centre for Ethnic Studies9. 
  9. ^ Ferdinando, Shamindra (10 September 2000). "I'm no traitor, says Perumal". Sunday Island. 
  10. ^ Sri Nissanka, Jayantha (30 April 2002). "Central Provincial Council : UNF takes over". Daily News, Sri Lanka. 
  11. ^ "Uva PC dissolved". The Daily News. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  12. ^ "Southern, Uva PCs to be dissolved". The Daily Mirror. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-06-22. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Nominations from June 17 to 23". The Daily News. 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  14. ^ "Uva PC election on August 8". Ada Derana. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-24.