The ruling party won two-thirds of the seats. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to change the Constitution and restore full executive powers to the presidency. According to some analysts, his brother Mahinda, the current prime minister, might oppose the move. The main opposition force has been trounced.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party won by landslide Wednesday’s parliamentary elections, which took place amid the COVID-19 emergency, this according to the results released today by the Electoral Commission.
By electing 150 members in the 225-seat house, the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Party and its allies will have two-thirds of the new assembly, allowing the president to change the constitution and restore full executive powers to the presidency as he had previously called for.
In 2015, Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution by a large majority, curtailing the powers of the executive branch.
Some analysts say that current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya’s brother and former president from 2005 to 2015, might oppose the constitutional changes, triggering a family feud.
The opposition suffered a sweeping defeat. The party of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe lost all but one of the 106 seats it held in the outgoing assembly.
With 54 seats, the party founded by the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa is now the main opposition force to the Rajapaksas.