SLMC crucial for PA forming government

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 October 2000, 17:00 GMT]
The People's Alliance and its minority allies, the Eelam People's Democratic Front and the National Unity Alliance, together have obtained enough seats to form the government in Sri Lanka. However, the decision of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress will be crucial for the PA in forming the government this week. Six SLMC candidates, four who contested on the PA list and two on the NUA list, have been elected.

The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna which has ten seats and the Tamil United Liberation Front which has six are unlikely to be part of a PA led coalition government party sources told Tamilnet Wednesday evening.

Election officers count votes for the parliamentary elections in Colombo Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2000.Photo:AP/Sherwin Crasto
The NUA, the SLMC's multi-ethnic front, obtained a seat in Batticaloa and one in the Vanni. Three SLMC members were elected on the PA list in the Ampara electoral district. One SLMC member was elected on the PA list in Trincomalee.

The results of all the electoral districts in the island except Kandy have been announced.

Elections officials in Colombo said that the PA has got 95 seats and the UNP 78. The JVP obtained 8 seats. Once the number of seats that each party is to be allocated according to total votes it has obtained country wide is computed, the PA should get 14 additional seats the officials said. A party needs at least 114 seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament to form a stable government.

If the SLMC decides against supporting the PA as stated by its current de facto leader Rauf Hakeem the eve of the polls, then the PA can count only on 105 of its MPs to form the government.

In the event of an SLMC decision to support the UNP or to stay neutral, the PA will have not more than 110 seats if it were to form a coalition with the EPDP which has five seats.

However, political analysts said that the EPDP and the SLMC most likely to support the PA, unless the UNP comes up with some unexpected bait to inveigle them into its camp.

One of the scores of Sri Lankas who where injured in clashes between rival political factions during voting for a new parliament on Tuesday await treatment at a hospital in the city of Kandy October 11, 2000. The independent Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said in a statement it had received reports of serious poll violations, including instances of murder, bombings and ballot stuffing at 365 polling booths in nearly half of the 168 polling divisions.Photo:Reuters/Shane Senaviratne
There are 22 electoral districts in Sri Lanka. Each district has a bonus seat which is given to the party that scores the highest number of votes in the district. And there are 29 seats which are allocated according to the country wide vote obtained by each party. The Sri Lankan Parliament has 225 seats.

Though a simple majority requires 113 seats, once a party or a coalition forms a government it will lose a vote that can be cast only in exceptional circumstances when it appoints the speaker. Hence, the minimum of 114 seats to form a stable government.

The PA's only Tamil ally, the EPDP got four seats in Jaffna and one of its ex-MPs, Gunasegaram Sankar, who contested as the chief candidate of the Tamil independent group in Ampara has been elected.

The TELO won three seats in the Vanni electoral district, routing the PLOTE which won three seats here last time. The TELO said that it will not join any effort by the PA to form the government.

The TULF has three in Jaffna and two in Batticaloa but said that it will not be part of any government.


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