Map of Sri Lanka Election in 2015
|Candidate’s Name||Votes Received||Percentage|
|Arachchige Rathnayaka Sirisena||18174||0.15%|
|Panagoda Don Prince Soloman Anura Liyanage||14351||0.12%|
|Ruwanthilaka Peduru Arachchi||12436||0.10%|
|Aithurus Mohamed Illias||10618||0.09%|
|M. B. Theminimulla||3846||0.03%|
|Baththaramulle Seelarathana Thero||3750||0.03%|
The race for the President’s office is between the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP),
who represents the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), and the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena of the New Democratic Front party, who is being fielded by the United National Party (UNP)-led opposition coalition. Before switching over to the opposition coalition, Maithripala Sirisena was the former Health Minister in the government of Rajapaksa and general secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
In Sri Lanka, instant-runoff system is followed for choosing the president, wherein voters can choose the three preferred candidates and rank them in order of preference. In case the leading candidate does not get a majority, then the second and third preferred candidate come into contention and the leading candidate gets elected.
As on 08 December 2014, a total of nineteen nominations had been filed, all of whom were accepted by the Election Department. Of these, seventeen were from the represented registered political parties and two were independent candidates.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking re-election for a third term, which in itself is without precedent in the history of Sri Lankan politics. The run-up to the elections has witnessed hectic political activity with some gains and some setbacks for President Rajapaksa. In the 2015 Presidential Election, he has received the support of various member parties of the UPFA, comprising the Ceylon Worker’s Front, National Freedom Front, Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Up-Country People’s Front, and the Communist Party. Moreover, in December 2014, during the nomination period, he managed to win critical support from two opposition MPs, Tissa Attanayake, and Jayantha Ketagoda, both of whom have joined the government and backed Rajapaksa for the presidential race.
However, there have been some setbacks too, in the form of withdrawal of support by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party and the All Ceylon Muslim Congress.
The poll manifesto titled Mahinda’s Vision – The World Winning Path, promises a new constitution within a year of being elected, but leaves out the critical opposition demand of abolishing the Executive Presidency. The manifesto commits to fight drug trafficking and organized crime by creating a Special Security Force and a Naval Force, drawing assistance from the Army.
A transparent and fair judicial enquiry has been promised to look into the alleged war crimes committed towards the end of the Civil War against the LTTE, but made it clear that UN involvement will not be welcomed.
Maithripala Sirisena, backed by the UNP, was finally chosen as the Common Opposition Candidate for the presidential election, after much political wrangling amongst potential heavyweights like former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremasinghe, Shirani Bandaranayake, Kanu Jayasuriya, and Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero.
Sirisena had quit the government to protest against lack of reforms in the executive presidency and accountability. The poll manifesto titled A Compassionate Maithri Governance-A Stable Country, promises to abolish the Executive Presidency and bring back the seventeenth amendment, while reforming the open list proportional system of electing MPs. The manifesto goes on to promise setting up of independent commissions to oversee critical departments like the judicial, police and election. Political victims like Sarath Fonseka and Shirani Bandaranayake would be re-instated.
Previous elections in Sri Lanka have witnessed violence, voter intimidation and misuse of state resources. The surveillance groups in local elections have severely condemned the violence calling it shameless and berated the police for their negligence. Therefore, it now remains to be seen whether these elections will be any different. The Government has welcomed international observers to oversee the electoral process, but has ruled out presence of any UN representative.
|S. No||Presidential candidates||Political Party|
|1||Mahinda Rajapaksa||Sri Lanka Freedom Party|
|2||Maithripala Sirisena||New Democratic Front|
|3||Wimal Geeganage||Sri Lanka National Front (Rajapaksa dummy candidate)|
|4||Aithurus M. Illias||Independent|
|5||Siritunga Jayasuriya||United Socialist Party|
|6||Jayantha Kulathunga||United Lanka Great Council (Rajapaksa dummy candidate)|
|7||A. S. P. Liyanage||Sri Lanka Labour Party (Rajapaksa dummy candidate)|
|8||Sundaram Mahendran||Nava Sama Samaja Party (Sirisena dummy candidate)|
|9||Sarath Manamendra||New Sinhala Heritage|
|10||Maulawi Ibrahim Mohanmed Mishlar||United Peace Front|
|11||Duminda Nagamuwa||Frontline Socialist Party|
|12||Ruwanthileke Peduru||United Lanka People’s Party|
|14||Prasanna Priyankara||Democratic National Movement|
|15||Namal Ajith Rajapaksa||Our National Front|
|16||Battaramulle Seelarathana||Jana Setha Peramuna|
|17||Ratnayake Arachchige Sirisena||Patriotic National Front|
|18||Muthu Bandara Theminimulla||All Are Citizens, All Are Kings Organisation|
|19||Pani Wijesiriwardene||Socialist Equality Party|
The first Parliamentary General Elections in Sri Lanka, which was previously known as Ceylon, were held in 1947, a year before the country got free from colonial rule and the first Parliament was also elected in the same year under the Ceylon (Constitution) Order in Council of 1946. The election was held on multiparty system.
After the first election was conducted on multiparty system, the Republican Constitution was introduced after 25 years in 1972. The President was to be the head of the state and would be nominated by the Prime Minister.
Six years later in 1978, the Second Republican Constitution was introduced and it propagated setting up of an Executive Presidency and a Parliamentary legislative. In Sri Lanka, every person who fits the criteria of being an elector can cast vote in the election of the President, Member of Parliament, Referendum and Member of a Provincial Council, Local Authority, in case his or her name is listed in the appropriate register of voters.
There are five major types of elections in Sri Lanka – Presidential Election, Parliamentary General Election, Provincial Councils Elections, Local Authorities Elections and Referendum. At present, the country is gearing up for Presidential Elections.
The island nation mainly elects the President, who is the head of state on a national level and he/she is elected by the people for a period of six years. Besides, the people also elect the legislature on national level.
The Sri Lankan Parliament comprises 225 members and like President, they are also elected for a six-year term by the people.
Out of 225 members, 196 are sent by the people to Parliament via the process of voting held in multi-seat constituencies through a proportional representational system. In this mode of election, each party is allocated a number of seats from the quota belonging to each district as per the proportion of the aggregate votes bagged by the party in the district.
The remaining 29 members are appointed by the secretary of each party based on the nation-wide vote obtained by the party.
In Sri Lanka, one can see a multi party system, however, two heavyweight parties – United National Party and Sri Lanka Freedom Party usually fight it out to be on the top, dominating a major part of the country’s political horizon.
Though other parties also exist, it’s almost a herculean task for them to attain any major electoral success and none of them could leave any remarkable imprint in the country’s political arena in recent times.