UNP tipexed from Monaragala

Bookmark UNP tipexed from Monaragala

The results have been released except in Trincomalee and Kandy following the country’s first parliamentary election since the end of the long civil war against LTTE. Election monitors have said voting across the country in Thursday’s poll was largely peaceful. Now it is clear that UPFA is going to win the election by large margin. What is this margin?

In every country there should be a strong Opposition. After the presidential election, it is usual for people to vote for the ruling party. But you have to understand that by comparing the past. In previous general elections though the defeats, the main opposition party maintains at least 30% of the total votes polled. But what has happened in this time? The Moneragala result is a good case study for “what has happened to the United National Party (UNP)”. Following is the results of Moneragala district.

United People’s Freedom Alliance 120,634 (75.64%) 4 seats and United National Party 28,892 (18.12%) one seat.  As people know there was a problem in the UNP nomination list (where there was a allegation that Mr. Ranjith Madduma Bandara included the name of Senaka Ratnayaka in the nomination list for the elections by deleting Mr. Tissa Kuttiarachchi’s name) and the UNP replaced its Moneragala District leader, Ranjith Madduma Bandara by naming Attorney at Law Nihal Chandrasiri ahead of the April 8 Parliamentary elections.

UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe asked UNP voters in Monaragala District to choose three from Messrs. Nihal Chandrasiri, K.umathipala, Ranjith Abeyratne and Kirthi Shanthe Samarawickrema to cast their preferential votes states an announcement issued by the UNP. However Mr. Ranjith Madduma Bandara was selected to the parliament by getting more preferential votes than others. Which means people accepted Ranjith Madduma Bandara or rejected Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe ?

The problems of nominations lists are not new to UNP. It has happened in Colombo Municipal council election as well. This will question the role and the responsibility of a main opposition party as a whole.

But you have to observe the Moneragala incident as the climax of the problems faced by one of the oldest Sri Lankan political parties. If you compare the election result in Moneragala in past, at the2001 election UNP obtained 37% and secured two seats while in 2001 also UNP got 43%(against UPFA 43.67) and secured two seats. Every time UNP managed to get more than 35% in any situation.

These results show that there is something radically wrong with the party. Some analysts argued that the majority (who has the voice of common people) has lost their voice due to “controlling minority” in party top hierarchy. This is the party where you had all big people like D.S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, J.R Jayewardene, R.Premadasa et al. The UPFA under the strong leadership of president will get the majority. The lessons about the strong transformational leadership should be learned. reproduced from island


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