International

Rajapaksa brothers win by landslide in Sri Lanka’s election

COLOMBO, AUG 7 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/7/2020 10:04:40 AM IST

Sri Lanka's powerful Rajapaksa brothers have secured a landslide victory in the country's parliamentary election, according to final results, reports Al- Jazeera.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) won 145 seats and can also count on the support of at least five allies in the 225-member legislature, according to the results released on Friday.
The SLPP's main opponent obtained just 54 seats in Wednesday's vote, which saw more than 75 percent of the 16.2 million eligible voters cast their ballots. 
The prime minister is most likely to be sworn in the same position by his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the huge win on Friday could enable them to change the constitution and strengthen the dynastic rule.
"Sri Lanka People's Front has secured a resounding victory according to official results released so far," Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in a Twitter message. "It is by belief that that the expectation to have a Parliament that will enable the implementation of my 'vision for prosperity' policy will be reality tomorrow."
Critics fear the siblings - renowned for their crushing of Tamil separatist rebels to end a decades-old conflict in 2009 - want to end presidential term limits, bring the judiciary and police under their direct control, and extend their dynastic power to a new generation.
Sri Lanka's opposition has accused the government of corruption, censorship and intimidation.
Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez, reporting from the capital, Colombo, said despite criticism of "authoritarianism and dominance" people have opted for the governing party.
"Mahinda Rajapaksa was voted out of office essentially just one term ago. The previous government came to power on the promise of change but it failed miserably. They did carry forward some constitutional reforms but ultimately, they were such a big disappointment that people of this country have gone back to the Rajapaksas. "The handling of coronavirus crisis by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has invoked a lot of confidence in the people in contrast with the shambles the last government made following the Easter bombing attack last year."
The Indian Ocean Island has largely contained the spread of the novel coronavirus with 2,839 confirmed cases, including 11 deaths. However, analysts say any attempt by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to push for changes that will strengthen presidential power at the expense of those of the prime minister may trigger sibling rivalry.

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