The UPFA secured a convincing victory in the North Western and Central Provincial Council elections obtaining 34 seats in the NWP and 36 seats in the CP. The Tamil National Alliance will form the first functioning provincial government in the North after winning the election obtaing 36 seats.
The elections are seen by the United Nations and the world community as a test of reconciliation between the Tamils and the Sinhalese.”We asked the people (for votes) and the people have given. Now it’s our turn to reciprocate,” the chief minister elect, retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, said.
However, the provincial council is largely powerless and the new government led by Wigneswaran will have to contend with a center-appointed governor who will control most of the council’s affairs, which could cause rifts between the provincial and central governments.
But the two-thirds majority on the provincial council means Wigneswaran can follow through with his threat to call for a no-confidence vote against the governor – a retired military officer.
The central government retains control over taxes and has financial autonomy in the province, so it could withhold money to frustrate any council plans it disagrees with.
Wigneswaran said before the vote that winning would give his administration the public backing to lobby for wider powers based on federalism.
But he will have to face a two-pronged challenge – from Colombo and an expatriate Tamil lobby insisting that the party work for total independence.
|North Western Province||705,188||257,011||46,114||27,860||19,624|
|Percentage Polled||66.43 %||24.21%||4.34%||2.62%||1.85%|
|Percentage Polled||60.16%||27.79 %||3.80%||1.49%||1.17%||2.46%||2.09%|
|Percentage Polled||18.38 %||0.62%||0.04%||1.50%||0.06%||78.48%|