former political proxy of the now defeated rebels, in the vote for 38 provincialcouncilors.The government has accused the TNA of renewing calls for a separate state throughits push for the devolution of power. The TNA says it wants devolution in a united SriLanka, not a separate state.The party's chief candidate, C.V. Wigneswaran, said getting the army out of the northwould be his first priority."The army is the real problem," said Wigneswaran, 74, a former judge, sitting outsidehis party's election office."If you take away the army ... our people will be freed of the intrusions and interferencein their day-to-day life. We will not be subject to unnecessary harassment."Rajapaksa and his government have come under international pressure to bring tobook those accused of war crimes committed at the end of the war and to boost effortson reconciliation in the polarized country.The government has rejected accusations of rights abuses and Rajapaksa in Julyordered an inquiry into mass disappearances, mostly of Tamils, at the end of the war.LONG SHOTThe chief candidate for Rajapaksa's ruling party, Sinnathurai Thavarajah, said the TNAwas misleading voters with talk of getting the army out, which had nothing to do with aprovincial council.