By Rusiripala Tennakoon –
Statistics Show Better Than What Stars Try To Foretell
Presidential elections round the corner. Politicians, contestants are lining up for spiritual blessings. Temples, sacred religious places and other holy surroundings dedicated for worship are generously patronized. However recent events and developments do speak loudly of the possibilities. Statistics available in the political scenario are more relevant.
“As to the spiritual there could be a question; as to the material there could be none.”!
In the context let us examine some of the relevant statistical information available.
In the last Presidential Election the voting was as follows:
New Democratic Front Maithreepala Sirisena 6,217, 162 51.28%
UPFA Mahinda Rajapaksa 5,768,090 47.58%
17 different candidates 138,200 1.14%
12 Districts were won by Maithreepala Sirisena and 10 Districts were won by Mahinda Rajapaksa
Average Voting Perecentage was 81.52%
Lowest polling percentages were recorded from Vanni, 72.57%; Trincomalee, 76.76%; Puttlam, 73.81%; Jaffna, 66.28%; Batticaloa, 70.97%.
The votes received by the winning candidate include UNP, section of SLFP, TNA, Muslim Congress, and some other parties. Of the parties other than the UNP the largest vote contribution came from the SLFP.
In the 2015 August parliamentary election
Party No. of seats won National list seats Total polled Percentage
UNFGG (12 parties)* 93 13 106 5.098,916 45.66%
UPFA (13 parties)** 83 12 95 4,732,664 42.38%
TNA (4 parties)*** 14 02 16 515,963 4.62%
JVP 04 02 06 544,154 4.87%
SLMC 01 == 01 44,193 0.40%
EPDP 01 == 01 33481 0.30%
All others Parties, == == 203,814 1.77%
Total 196 29 = 225 100%
Total polled 11,684,098
Rejected 517,123 4.43%
Valid votes 11,166,975
Registered voters 15,044,490
Voting Percentage 77.66%
* UNFGG = ACMC+DNM+JHU+MTNA+NFGG+SLMC+TPA(DPF+NUW+UCPF)+ULF+UNP
** UPFA= CWC+CF+DNF+DPC+LP+MEP+NC+NFF+PHU+SA(CP+DLF+LSSP+NLPP+SLPP) *** TNA = EPRLF+ITAK+PLOTE+TELO
TNA comprised of four Tamil Parties polled a total of 515,963 votes securing 4.62% of the total polled
JVP polled 543,944 votes securing 4.87% of the total votes polled
During the Presidential Election both these factors contributed to the total polled by NDF headed by MS. It is also reported that there is a new development in the North and East where TNA was dominating, to cast a protest vote against it because they have failed to bring about any development in these areas. Many believe that the TNA’s sole role has been to support the survival of the UNP government and they have neglected the welfare and problems confronted by the ordinary people who supported them.
Several small political groupings have come to the open denouncing the list of demands put forward by the TNA to both major political parties seeking their recognition and acceptance if the TNA is to extend their support to them during the Presidential Election. These groups have pronounced that TNA is bringing forward these illusory demands deceitfully to obtain the support of the Tamil voters and mislead them.
This new school of thought points out that;
- TNA has completely failed to address the issues confronting the average Tamil citizens;
- There are hundreds of thousands of Tamil people living in extreme poverty in the North and East;
- The TNA has failed to grant or obtain from the government, any redress to these poverty –stricken people and they have been left in their destitute impoverished state without any remedial action;
- The self-determination claim made by them is not what the people of North and East require. They only want equality, impartiality and fairness and the infrastructure facilitation for them to be economically viable and self-sufficient;
- They want to live in peace and harmony in any part of the country without any discrimination;
- They yearn for communal harmony with the majority population, the Sinhalese;
The young and the educated Tamil youth grouped together with these broad objectives have declared in no uncertain terms that they are for one country and one rule with equal opportunities extended to all. They are very seriously concerned with the natural resources and the unexploited resource base available in the North and East and they demand the full utilization of this potential for the benefit of the country.
These educated youth have contacts with their colleagues living all over the world, identified as Tamil Diaspora and are confident their cause will be supported by the Diaspora in many ways, such as technological support, know how, investment etc. etc..
They are ready to register a political party initially confined to the Tamil speaking areas with the broad objective of representing them and obtaining solutions to their problems. Already they have started their campaign educating the voters about the farcical and ludicrous operations of the associated political parties under the TNA strongly denouncing the divisive communal policies they pursue ostensibly to hoodwink the Tamil voters to achieve their ulterior motive of sharing power with government by supporting their survival and enjoy benefits at the expense of the rights of the masses whom they represent. They state that the TNA is committing a crime by forgetting the wellbeing of the masses while continuing their cordial relations with the government.
First the TNA wanted an assurance from the main parties about their separatist demands but they have now declared that the TNA is supporting Sajith for the Presidency. This leaves us with the unanswered question as to whether the TNA has obtained the required assurance from UNP. Another secret compact?
The TNA factor is of significant importance to Sajith’s vote bank. Therefore any development such as the emanation in the North and East described above will have a serious negative impact to his result.
In 2018 February, Local Government elections were held. It was the largest election in the history of Sri Lanka where elections were held on the same day for 340 local authorities including Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas (Divisional councils).
There were some significant factors associated with this election, viz.:
- It was the first election to be held after the amendment of the Local Government Elections Act. Introduced by the Yahapalana Government;
- The new election laws encompassed a mixed election system with 60% to be elected under the First –Past-the –Post and the balance 40% being chosen under proportional representation;
- The two major parties of the so-called National Government broke apart to contest the election under their own party identities;
- It was the first country wide election contested by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna headed by the former President Mahinda Rajapakse;
- It was a long overdue election in respect of several local bodies which had been dissolved and were placed under special commissioners;
- JVP contested separately and has shown a marked increase in the number of votes polled for the first time;
The result was a complete surprise. In Summary form it is as follows:
POLITICAL PARTY NO. OF VOTES PERCENTAGE SECURED NO OF SEATS WON
Sri Lanka Pudujana Peramuna(1) 5,006,837 40.47% 3436
United National Front(2) 3,640,620 29.42% 2433
U P Freedom Alliance (3) 1,497,234 12.10% 1048
JVP 710,932 5.75% 434
TNA(4) 337,877 2.73% 417
Independents 374,132 3.02% 274
Tamil National Peoples Front 85,198 0.69% 102
EPDP 74,128 0.60% 98
TULF(5) 72,493 0.59% 78
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress 92,897 0.75% 73
All Ceylon Makkal Congress(6) 85,437 0.69% 65
Ceylon Workers Congress 100,641 0.81% 59
Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal 44,062 0.36% 37
Tamil Progressive Alliance(7) 50,974 0.41% 26
30 other parties 199,354 1.61% 128
(1)SLPP =DLF+LSSP+MEP+NFF+PHU+SLFP (R) +TMVP
(2) UNF=ACMC+JHU+SLMC+TPA (3 groups)+UNP
(3) UPFA= CWC+NC+SLFP(MS)
Valid Votes 12,372,816 100%
Rejected Votes 210,970 1.68%
Total polled 12,583,786 79.94%
Registered votes 15,742,371
- Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP) has won 16 districts while the United National Front secured victory only in 4 districts (Amparai, Badulla, Mannar and Nuwra Eliya),Tamil National Alliance won 5 districts, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya
- JVP which is contesting the Presidential Election has publicly declared that their voters will not cast a second preference, hence it will be a sizable swing away from the UNP front
- The government which is virtually reduced to the UNP backed parties are facing serious disadvantages due to their poor governance accounting for several factors
- The shockingly alarming poor security situation OF THE COUNTRY.
It appears to be a hard business trip to any and all presidential candidates who have emerged from nowhere to get anywhere closer to the finish in this race. But for someone like Gotabaya Rajapaksa, of the SLPP who had been toiling for some time now openly interacting with the masses, elite and the intellectuals of the country arming and fortifying himself with sound policies while plodding his way up towards the Candidature, the journey may not be so difficult with the back up support his party has already built.
This may appear incredible to those toying with speculation, but it is a fact as statistics will show.