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The Political Landscape Post the Provincial Polls

The Political Landscape Post the Provincial Polls

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Sep 23, 2013
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11/11/2014

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- on 09/23/2013 The elections to the North Western, Central and Northern provincial councilsare over and the results have been largely as many political analystspredicted. The UPFA won in both the North Western and the Centralprovinces, while the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) romped home in theNorth. The political landscape though remains largely unchangedsubsequent to the polls, with the polls reiterating but not altering thepolitical dynamics that existed since the end of the war and the presidentialand parliamentary elections of 2010.
UNP badly defeated
 The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) retained in the recentelections a 66% and a 60% popular vote share in the North Western andCentral provinces respectively, roughly similar to the 69% and 59% theysecured in the same provinces 2009. In fact in both provinces the UPFAincreased their absolute number of votes and in the Central province,moved up from 59% to 60%.In sad contrast the United National Party saw its percentage of the popularvote actually erode in both provinces. In the Central province the UNP wentdown from the 38% they polled in 2009 down to 27%, while in the NorthWestern province they went down from 28% to 24%. In an election that saw
 
over one hundred thousand additional voters in both the North Westernand the Central Provinces, the UNP actually polled less votes in 2013 thanthey did in 2009. So the UNP did not just loose votes only in relative terms,they lost votes in absolute terms. Thus the UNP General Secretary’s proudpre election claim that they will actually poll more votes than they did in2009 was proved wrong, as the party actually polled a whole lot less. Itwould be wise for the UNP Working Committee, that precocious group of persons, to contemplate the sorry plight of their party. In the Northernprovince, the UNP’s 0.6% of the popular vote is not merely anembarrassment, it is farcical. The Rajapakse regime must be feeling vindicated, that despite impeachingthe Chief Justice, despite turning the military loose to brutally assault andshoot dead villages’ demanding unpolluted potable water in Weliweriya,despite increasing electricity tariffs by nearly 40%, despite allowing placesof Muslim and Christian religious worship to be attacked with no effectivepreventive or corrective action, that they poll over 60% of the popular voteamongst about 2.3 million voters in two provinces. Possibly more anindictment on the UNP, than an endorsement of the regime.
TNA sweeps the North
 The Northern Provincial Council elections of 2013, will be noted in history asthe first election that the Rajapakse regime lost and lost big. The TamilNational Alliance (TNA), led by Rajavarothiam Sambanthan, won aresounding victory in the North, getting almost four fifths (4/5) of thepopular vote at 78.5% and about the same proportion of the seats or 30 outof 38 seats, in the provincial legislature. That the TNA pulled this off despite, all the kings horses and all the kings men, being deployed againstit was indeed an amazing performance for the regional ethnic minoritypolitical party and surpassed expectations. The UPFA as a governmentdemonstrated just how alienated it is from the Tamil people of the North, bygetting just 18% of the popular vote. Clearly governance in the North,whether by the Presidential Task Force or the Governor, that ignores anddoes not engage the TNA, would be completely unrepresentative of thelocal people and communities. However hard work lies ahead for the TNAand its newly elected Northern Provincial Council, to make the Council workfor the benefit of the Tamil people of the North. Basically Northern Chief Minister elect, retired Justice C.V.Wigneswaren would have his work cut outfor him and would have to replicate what Mayor Muzzamil has accomplishedin Colombo, running the country’s largest municipality as a UNP controlledcouncil in the context of a UPFA central and provincial administration.
Democratic Party comes of age as the third player while JVPdeclines further
 Just when we thought the JVP was at rock bottom, they sink to new lows,getting about 1.5% of the popular vote, demonstrating that there is no

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