President Ranasinghe Premadasa's United National Party retained its 11-year lock on power Thursday, winning an absolute majority in parliamentary polls marred by more than 1,300 deaths in campaign and election-day violence.
Election Commission officials said of 225 seats contested in Wednesday's elections the ruling party captured 125 - less than the four-fifths majority it won in 1977 but enough for the absolute majority required to preserve Premadasa's control of Parliament through his powerful "executive presidency."The main opposition group, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) of former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, won 67 seats, an eight-fold increase over the eight seats it currently holds.
"Our victory is not merely an election triumph, it is the victory of the people," Premadasa said in a statement. "It is a victory of principles."