04/21/2010, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Rajapaksa's party wins hands down, but can not amend the constitution

The United People's Freedom Alliance wins more than 60% of the vote and gained 144 seats out of 225. Tomorrow, the swearing in of elected candidates. The result comes after the fraud and violence that forced the election commission to repeat the vote in two provinces.

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Election Department has tonight announced the final figures of the parliamentary elections of April 8. With over 4.8 million votes (60.3%) the party of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the United People's Freedom Alliance (Upfa), wins, taking 144 seats out of an available 225.

The President's party has not,  however, obtained an absolute majority in parliament of 150 seats necessary to amend the constitution without the veto of the other parties.

The Upfa increased the initial result of 117 seats, thanks to victory in the provinces of Tricolamee and Kandy, where the vote was held again after incidents of fraud and violence on election day.

The opposition is led by the United National Party (UNP) party of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickermsinghe, which scored 29, 3% of votes equal to 60 seats. The Democratic National Alliance, led by former presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, got only 5.4% of votes, gaining 7 seats.

The elected candidates will gather tomorrow in parliament for  swearing in ceremonies.

The parliamentary elections of 8 April, were the first free polls since the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) in May 2009. They  came less than two months after the January presidential election that saw victory for Rajapaksa, and the arrest of his rival Sarath Fonseka, who is still under court martial.

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