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Sri Lanka Brief Update: General Election 2020- Stats and Trends

by

12 August 2020

( PDF document is attached at the end)

1. Elections for Sri Lanka’s 9th Parliament were held on 5 August 2020 and the first sitting day of the 9th parliament is 20th August 2020. From 22 electoral districts, 196 members were elected and 29 members are being appointed from the National list. 7,452 candidates contested from 52 political and independent groups. Only 15 political parties were able to get seats in the 9th parliament. A detailed chart of election results is given at the end.

2. Comparison between 2020 and 2015 General Elections.

General Election

2020 Votes polled

2015 Votes polled

Registered electors

16,263,885

15,044,490

Total votes polled

12,343,302

75.89%

11,684,098

77.66%

Valid votes

11,598,929

71.32%

11,166,975

73.23%

Rejected votes

744,373

6.03%

517,123

4.43%

3. Although the elections were held under strict COVID 19 health guidelines total votes polled show only a 2% drop from 2015 general election.

4. Rejected votes stand at 6.03%. Since the introduction of the preferential voting system under the 1978 constitution, rejected (invalid) votes have been around 5%. This number cannot be considered a protest vote in total. In the four proceeding general elections held before the PR system introduced the rejected votes were around 1%.

5. Rajapaksas’ led Sri Lanka PoduJana Peramuna (SLPP) obtained 145 seats and their allies have obtained 5 seats. Altogether ruling coalition has 151 out of 225 seats, surpassing the 2/3 majority.

Samgi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) led by Sajith Premadasa came second with 54 seats.

6. While Rajapaksas’ led SLPP received 70540 fewer votes than in the presidential election held in November 2019, main opposition UNP + SJB has lost nearly 2 million votes.

7. Members elected form Southern multi-ethnic districts shows that Rajapaksas’ led SLPP has won overwhelming percentage of Sinhala votes.

District

SLPP- Members Elected

SJB – Members Elected

Sinhala

Tamil

Muslim

Sinhala

Tamil

Muslim

Colombo

6

0

0

3

1

2

Kandy

8

0

0

1

1

2

Nuwara Eliya

3

2

0

0

3

0

Badulla

6

0

0

1

2

0

https://www.parliament.lk/9th-parl-mp-gaz

8. For the first time, alt-Buddhist organisation Bodu Bala Sena led coalition OPPP has entered the parliament with one member elected to  the national list.

9. Left coalition National Peoples Power (NPP) led by Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) failed to make any headway, its MPs tally declined to 3 from 6 in 2015.

10. While in the Sinhalese dominated South of Sri Lanka SLPP has consolidated itself as the Sinhala Buddhist Nationalist-Socialist party in the North & East a fragmentation of Tamil nationalist politics has taken place. This may have far-reaching consequences.

11. Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the party dominated North and East politics since the end of the war has lost its unchallenged position. The TNA votes have decreased more than one-third from its 2015 tally. From 515,963 (4.62%) in 2015 the TNA has dropped to 327,168 (2,82%) votes. The number of MPs elected declined from 16 in 2015 to 10.

12.TNA lost its vote base to two adversaries, i.e, on the one hand to the pro-Rajapaksa Tamil political parties and on the other hand to the hard-line Tamil nationalist parties.

District

Votes received

TNA (ITKA)

Hard-line Tamil Nationalist Parties

Pro Rajapaksa Tamil Parties

Jaffna

112,967

91.320

45,797 + (SLFP 49,373)

Vanni

69,916

17,021

11,310 + (SLPP 42,524)

Batticaloa

79,460

4,960

67,692 + (SLPP 33,424)

Ampara /Digamadulla

25,255

29,379

Trincomalee

39,570

4,370

3,775

https://results.elections.gov.lk/#12-details

13. The number of female members elected has declined from 13 to 8. No political party campaigned for the enhanced participation of women in politics. There was a minimal number of women in candidate lists of almost all major political parties. There is only one female in the Cabinet of Ministers. Women’s Affairs Ministry has been scrapped. State Minister in charge of “Women and Child Development is a Male.

14. All elected members of the Rajapaksa family have been given positions in the government.

Name

Position

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Minster of Defence

Prime Minster Mahinda Rajapaksa

Minister of Finance, Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, Urban Development and Housing.

Chamal Rajapaksa

Minister of Irrigation & State Minister of , Internal Defence & Disaster Management

Namal Rajapaksa

Minister of  Sports & Youth Affairs

Shashindra Rajapaksa

State Minister of Paddy and Cereals, Organic Foods, Vegetables, Fruits, Chili, Onions and Potatoes Seed Production and High-tech Agriculture

Nipuna Ranawaka

Chair of the District Coordinating Committee, Matara

15. 10 Members of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s political platform “Viyath Maga” have been elected and 4 of them have been appointed as State Ministers.

16. Biggest loser of the general election 2020 is former PM and leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe. His party polled only 2.15% national vote and obtained one national list seat.

17. Some urgent constitutional changes to the 19th Amendment will be discussed at the first cabinet meeting. These amendments will include removing restrictions imposed on the executive presidency by the 19th Amendment.

18. Far-reaching constitutional amendments will be introduced later. Powerful national organiser of the SLPP, Basil Rajapaksa has told media that instead of a patchwork, a new constitution will be introduced. A new electoral system based on “first past the post” system, to ensure the regime continuity is also on the cards. Offering an administrative role to the military in order to make military involvement in governance permanent, may also be considered.

19. Rajapaksas’ political and ideological hold on majority Sinhala Buddhist constituencies has been consistent since 2005. Introducing an electoral system based on or close to the “first past the post” system may provide them an unassailable position in the current political configuration.

20. As stated by the leaders of the government establishing “Discipline and Order” to achieve economic growth will take precedence over human rights, democracy and reconciliation. New political demarcations lines have been drawn, as the seismic shift has taken place in the country’s electoral map as well as in the balance of political power.

Votes polled by political parties and MPs elected.

Political party

Votes received

Parentag%

MPs elected

National list

Total

Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP)

6,853,690

59.09%

128

17

145

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB)

2,771,980

27.90%

47

7

54

Tamil National Alliance (TNA)

327,168

2.82%

9

1

10

National People’s Power (NPP)

445,958

3.84%

2

2

3

Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF)*

67,766

0.58%

1

1

2

Tamil People’s National Alliance (TPNA)**

51,301

0.44%

1

0

1

Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP)

61,464

0.53%

2

0

2

United National Party (UNP)***

249,435

2.15%

0

1

1

Our Power of People Party (OPPP)****

67,758

0.58%

0

1

1

Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP)*****

67,692

0.58%

1

0

1

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)******

66,579

0.57%

1

0

1

Muslim National Alliance (MNA)

55,981

0.48%

1

0

1

All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC)

43,319

0.37%

1

0

1

National Congress (NC)

39,272

0.34%

1

0

1

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC)

34,428

0.30

1

0

1

Notes:

* Coalition led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam.

** Coalition led by former Northern Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran.

*** Majority MPs of the United National Party broke away from former PM Wickremasinghe’s leadership and formed Samgi Jana Balawagaya.

**** Party led by Alt Buddhist Bodu Bala Sena leader Galagoda Aththe Ganansara Thero.

***** Party led by former Batticaloa LTTE leader and Eastern province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan.

******Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLPP) led by former President Sirisena contested as a coalition partner of the Prime Minister Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka PoduJan Peramuna and won 15 seats.

https://elections.gov.lk/web/wp-content/uploads/election-results/parliamentary-elections/NL_SeatsbyParty_04.pdf

Read as a PDF:SLB update General Election 2020- Stats and trends (Aug 2020)

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