COLOMBO: The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has won the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections held on Monday.
According the figures available in the evening of Tuesday, the UNFGG had won 93 seats and the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had won 83 in the House of 225. Including the National List seats, which are filled by nominations, the UNFGG will finally get 106 seats and the UPFA 95.
Early in the morning, the UPFA leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had conceded defeat. Rajapaksa told AFP that his dream of becoming Prime Minister of Sri Lanka had faded.
These observations were made even before the official announcement of the full results, when counting trends showed that the UNFGG was emerging as the front runner.
In his pre-noon statement, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that “the verdict endorses the revolution ushered in by the Presidential election held on January 8.”
Wickremesinghe, who is also Leader of the United National Party (UNP), the main constituent of the UNFGG), said that he hopes to set up a “government based on consensus.”
He asked people to work with him “to build a civilized society and a new country to face the challenges of the New Age.”
Generous in victory, Wickremesinghe said that he will not talk about winners and losers in the election as people had voted for the January 8 revolution to usher in Good Governance.
The UNFGG is short of the 113 required for a simple majority. However, it is well placed to secure supporters from the opposition United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) whose Chairman is Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, an ally of Wickremesinghe’s.
Sirisena had fought the Presidential election with the support of Wickremesinghe. Therefore, Sirisena could be a bridge between the UNFGG and UPFA and get at least some UPFA MPs to support the UNFGG government.The Tamil National Alliance and the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna are also likely to support the government from outside.
At any rate, Wickremesinghe and Sirisena are both committed to forming a “National Government” to push through vital constitutional reforms. And in his statement on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe spoke of forming a government “based on consensus.”