Sri Lanka’s ruling party wins provincial polls

Aug 24, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition is securing comfortable wins in two provincial polls with large majorities in most polling divisions, official results show, increasing the likelihood of further polls in the months ahead, analysts say. A similar trend is seen in the Ratnapura and Kegalle districts of the Sabaragamuwa province, in polling divisions where results have been declared.

In the final Ratnapura district results, the UPFA polled 260218 votes (55.2 percent), the UNP 191,996 votes (40.7 percent) and JVP 9,703 votes (2.06 percent).

The UPFA won 13 seats, the UNP 10 and JVP 1 seat in Ratnapura.

In Kegalle the UPFA polled 212,571 votes (55.4 percent) getting 10 seats, the UNP 154,325 votes (40.2 percent) getting 7 seats and JVP 9,365 (2.44 percent) getting 1 seat.

The UPFA has been campaigning on its credentials in fighting Tamil Tiger guerillas with the military about 12 kilometres away from the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi on the eve of the election.

Political analysts say the convincing results of the latest provincial polls increases the chances of further provincial polls in the months ahead followed by a snap general election next year.

Election authorities have reported voter turnouts of arou