COLOMBO, April 29, Reuter: President Junius Jayewardene’s ruling party captured fewer seats than expected in Sri Lanka’s first major polls in seven years, political analysis said on Friday. Political observers said voting to fill seats on semiautonomous councils in four provinces showed a comeback for leftist parties that last tasted power in the early 1970s.
It also reaffirms the unpopularity of an Indian Sri Lankan pact aimed at ending a five year old war for a separate state for minority Tamils in northern and eastern provinces.
The leftist coalition of the United Socialist alliance, which won 64 out of the 155 seats, had 10 per cent more voters than the generally expected 30 per cent.
Jayewardene’s United National Party, dominant since 19797, won 88 seats, or 57 per cent, and the Moslem Congress took three.
The UNP won in all provinces voting on Thursday, northwest, north central, UVA and Sabagaramuwa. A bonus of two council seats went to the winning party in each province making for a total of 163.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 6, 1988