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Rejected votes beat Sri Lanka’s ex-PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe suffered a huge humiliation when early results showed that the votes received by his party was less than the total number of spoilt ballots in the districts of Galle and Matara.

Final district results showed that Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) polled 7,631 votes or 1.6 percent in Matara where the rejected votes were 22,578 or 3.42 percent.

In Galle, the UNP got 18,968 which was less than the district’s spoilt votes which accounted for 4.12 percent or 35,751.

Initial results suggested that the UNP had failed to win a single seat in the 225-member assembly and a senior member, Vajira Abeywardena, said they accepted the defeat and would try to reform.

“We humbly bow to the wishes of the people,” Abeywardena told reporters in Galle.

Asked if there should be a change in the party’s leadership, held by Wickremesinghe since 1994, Abeywardena said they had made changes but people did not endorse them.

“What we need to do is strictly enforce party discipline. Reforming the leadership won’t help revive the party,” he added. (COLOMBO, August 6, 2020)