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On Ranil Wickramasinghe



Ranil Received the Highest Number of Preference Votes at Three General Elections Repeatedly!

“The strongest signal, however, is for the two main political parties to work towards the general good of the people. Those who cannot fit into this spirit of teamwork cannot sustain their popularity and will be succeeded by other sparks. It will be very interesting to see the subsequent moves of Ranjan and Janaka. There is some possibility that these two councillors will step down from their posts giving in to less popular politicians.”

by Thomas Johnpulle

(August 26, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Provincial elections in the North Central Province and the Sabaragamuwa Province have ended. While the ruling party managed to secure both provinces, UNP has shown a marginal improvement from 2004. The biggest loser is the JVP which lost heavily; it is no longer the kingmaker at these two provincial councils.

UNP Chief Ministerial candidates received the highest number of preference votes in their respective districts over UPFA candidates. This is hardly surprising as none other than Ranil Wickramasinghe has done it repeatedly at three General Elections (2000, 2001 & 2004). What is more interesting is that he did it Colombo, away from his electorate of Biyagama which is in the Gampaha District. Does that mean he is the most popular politician in the country? Technically speaking the answer is yes. However, it is a fact that the number of preference votes is determined not by personal competence. In a democratic setting when a candidate from the losing side receives the highest number of preference votes it indicates voters’ desire to have the candidate as their Opposition Leader.

On the other hand the relative unpopularity of regional UPFA leaders is another hallmark of this election.

The strongest signal, however, is for the two main political parties to work towards the general good of the people. Those who cannot fit into this spirit of teamwork cannot sustain their popularity and will be succeeded by other sparks. It will be very interesting to see the subsequent moves of Ranjan and Janaka. There is some possibility that these two councillors will step down from their posts giving in to less popular politicians. If they desert their voters having received an astounding mandate to be Opposition Leaders of their respective provincial councils that will set a nasty precedence in Lankan politics where those who are popular usher in the unpopular by hoodwinking the voters. That in turn will result in a total collapse of accountability of politicians and political parties.

- Sri Lanka Guardian

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