Maithripala Sirisena Current Affairs
Newly appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa ended his five-decade-long association with Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and joined newly-formed Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP). SLFP was founded by his father Don Alwin Rajapaksa in 1951. Rajapaksa’s joining SLPP signals that he will contest snap polls, under his own party banner and not that of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). SLPP was formed in 2017 by Rajapaksa’s supporters as platform for his re-entry into politics. In February 2018 local council elections SLPP won two-third of total 340 seats.
Sri Lankan Political and Constitutional Crisis
In January 2015 Presidential election, then President Mahinda Rajapaksa (was in office for decade from 2005) was unexpectedly defeated by his then deputy Sirisena with support from Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). But, power-sharing arrangement between President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe in later times became increasingly uncertain on several policy matters, mainly on economy and security.
Further rift had developed between them over policy towards China and India, with Wickremesinghe favouring Indian investment as counter to Chinese inroads in Sri Lankan infrastructure projects and Sirisena’s intention to contest 2020 presidential election under Mr Wickremesinghe’s party.
In October 2018 Sirisena had abruptly removed Wickremesinghe and replaced with Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman as new Prime Minister. This move had plunged Sri Lanka into political and constitutional crisis. Sirisena had suspended parliamentary proceedings and later dissolved it, after it became evident that there is not enough support in House to prove Rajapaksa’s premiership.
United National Party (UNP) led United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) has emerged as largest group by winning 106 seats out of total 225 seats in Sri Lankan Parliamentary election 2015.
Leader of the UNFGG and UNP and current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to form a new government with the support of 95 MPs of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena.
- Sri Lankan parliamentary election 2015 was held on 17 August 2015 to elect 225 members to Sri Lanka’s 15th Parliament.
- The voter turnout for this election was record 77.66 per cent.
- Seat Allocation: Of the total 225 seats, 196 were to be directly elected from 22 multi-member electoral districts based on open party-list proportional representation method.
- While, remaining 29 seats are National list seats which are allotted to the parties on basis of their overall votes secured by them.
Party wise results
- United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) – 93 seats were won in direct election and 13 seats in National list. Thus total seats won are 106.
- United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) – won 83 seats directly won and 12 seats in National list. Thus total seats won are 95. It should be noted that UPFA was led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
- Tamil National Alliance (TNA)-won 16 seats. They are largest party representing Sri Lankan Tamils.
- Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna– won 6 seats.
- Sri Lanka Muslim Congress– won 1 seat.
- Eelam People’s Democratic Party- won 1 seat.
With this parliamentary election results, Mahinda Rajapaksa era in Sri Lankan politics came to end as he was seeking to return to power after earlier massive defeat in Presidential elections 2015 (He was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena).