Today’s Political Analysis

Published : 10:11 am  July 13, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 

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ele2UNP buoyed by New political front

The UNP, known to have been somewhat downhearted at the turn of events leading to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa being nominated by the UPFA to contest the general election, was yesterday elated after the JHU, a section of the SLFP MPs loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena, the SLMC and the PTF joined it to form a common political front against the UPFA.   

Buoyed by the formation of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), UNPers have sprung into action with confidence. The current political scenario which was least expected even by several political analysts has altered the political equation for the second time before the close of nominations today.   First, it happened after Mr. Rajapaksa’s nomination on the UPFA ticket was confirmed.

It is well known that those who joined the UNP to contest the election under the elephant symbol were mainly instrumental in tilting the voting patterns in favour of President Maithripala Sirisena at the January 8 election, particularly in urban areas. Against this background it is believed that they could tilt the votes in favour of the Good Governance Front at the August 17 general election where the front is contesting under a single symbol.

The new political front is making every effort to safeguard the aspirations of the 6.2 million people who voted for change and the ouster of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. The party leaders who signed the MoU said the forces that unseated Mr. Rajapaksa under the swan symbol, have now been united under the elephant symbol with the objective of preventing the Rajapaksa comeback.

If the January 8 voting patterns remain unchanged it will be possible for the Good Governance Front to secure a sizable majority, but political compulsions in the Western Province especially in Colombo may make it difficult to assess how the impact of the new front will trickle down to semi-urban and rural areas.

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Popular figures in UPFA National List

Former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, Dr. Dayan Jayatilake, Tissa Attanayake and G.L. Peiris   are among those being accommodated in the UPFA national list.

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 UPFA sees otherwise

But the UPFA sees the latest move by the UNP in a different light saying it is not an unusual phenomenon.
“Only the MPs, who defected from the UPFA prior to the January 8 election, have struck a political deal with the UNP.   Therefore, our vote base remains intact.  Besides, we have introduced new faces and   infused young blood into our side,” a UPFA politician said. Former MPs Mervyn Silva, Sajin de Vaas Gunawardane, and Sarana Gunawardane have been refused nominations.

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Duminda Silva contemplates independent list

Former UPFA MP Duminda Silva, who is unlikely to get nomination, is contemplating the possibility of fielding an independent list.  Meanwhile, the UPFA has come under pressure from his supporters in Kolonnawa urging that he be allowed to contest.  A group led by some Buddhist monks held a protest rally in Colombo yesterday demanding  nomination for Mr. Silva.

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Basil not in the fray

Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who handled his brother’s presidential election campaign has opted not to contest and this means three slots have fallen from the Gampaha district in the UPFA list. Another slot has fallen vacant with former JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera deciding to support the UNP-led front.  The UPFA nominations lists barring Colombo and Gampaha have been finalised.


Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who handled his brother’s presidential election campaign has opted not to contest and this means three slots have fallen from the Gampaha district in the UPFA list.


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Sudarshani opposes three UPFA  allies

In Gampaha, former MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle has opposed nomination to three members of three UPFA allies.  The matter was yet to be sorted out.
The UPFA has had to find a new candidate to replace Western Provincial Council member Hirunika Premachandra who quit the party and was nominated on the UNP list.   

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