Sri Lankans hold first post war general election (4)

16:53, April 08, 2010      

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Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director of the local monitoring organization PAFFREL (People's Action for Free and Fair Elections) said his organization will monitor the general election deploying 11,000 local observers and 16 foreign observers sent from the Asian Network for Free and Fair Elections.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the UNP on Wednesday appealed to the authorities to ensure a free and fair election.

"I appeal to the public to go early and cast their ballots. Don 't stay at home. We have taken precautions to ensure that your franchise can not be stolen," Wickremesinghe was quoted by local media as saying.

The opposition leader said that the election would be crucial since it will be a choice between good governance and corruption, rule of law and anarchy, economic prosperity and poverty.

At the 2004 parliamentary elections, the UPFA secured 105 seats, while the UNP secured 82. They were followed by the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (22 seats), the monk party JHU ( National Heritage Party, nine seats), the main Muslim party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (five seats), Up Country People's Front ( representing Tamil labors in the hilly tea estate, one seat) and the pro-government Tamil party Eelam People's Democratic Party ( one seat).

The new 225-member legislature is scheduled to hold its first session on April 22.

Source: Xinhua
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