Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election 2010

The Presidential Election was successfully concluded in Sri Lanka on 26th January 2010 and incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) was re-elected for a second term securing 57.88% of the total votes cast.  His closest rival at the elections, Mr. Sarath Fonseka, representing a coalition of opposition parties, including the main opposition UNP, secured 40.15% of the total votes cast.

The Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka were observed by 41 international observers from 13 countries who were located in 22 districts to monitor the whole process since their arrival in the country on 20th January.  The observers have since publicly pronounced that they did not witness any significant deviation from the procedure as mentioned in the Election Laws and stated in a press conference that the Elections Commissioner had acted with objectivity and impartiality.  The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, whose party, the UNP, supported the main opposition Presidential candidate in a press conference stated that he believed the Presidential Elections were conducted in a largely free and fair manner and that he accepted the final result.  The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), a leading NGO engaged in election monitoring concluded in a public statement that in comparison with the violence recorded during previous Presidential Elections that the 2000 Presidential Election was less violent and that the poll was conducted in a peaceful environment.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the media that he was “relieved that the vote yesterday in Sri Lanka appears to have been relatively peaceful despite some violent incidents.  The Elections commissioner has declared the results, and I once again appeal for all parties to abide by that decision.”  The US Govt., the European Union and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Australia  have issued statements congratulating President Rajapaksa on his re-election and expressing satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the poll.  Congratulatory messages from the President of India, President of the Russian Federation and several other world leaders have been received.

Following the announcement of the final results by the Commissioner of Elections, President Mahinda Rajapaksa thanked those who voted for him as well as his opponents for upholding democracy and ensuring a peaceful election.  He stated that his election campaign was conducted with the promise of taking the country to a prosperous future where no one will be left out or left behind.  Following the defeat of terrorism, the President looked forward to an era of peace and national reconciliation.  The President has committed himself to work towards achieving national reconciliation.

29th January 2010
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