UN chief lauds peaceful elections in Sri Lanka

United Nations, Aug 19 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has applauded the people of Sri Lanka for their peaceful and broad-based participation in the parliamentary elections.

On Monday, over 60 percent voters turned up to elect a new prime minister in the island nation, reported Xinhua.

Ban commended President Maithripala Sirisena for having “shepherded an inclusive process” and the Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya for his efforts to help guarantee the exercise of Sri Lankans’ right to vote.

The Secretary-General encourages the new government to make further progress on good governance, accountability and reconciliation, said a statement released on Tuesday.

“He looks forward to continuing to work with the President, the prime minister and the government in support of building long-term peace and prosperity for the country,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka’s United National Front (UNF) secured a clean win over the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary polls.

According to final results released on Tuesday, the UNF led by Ranil Wickremesinghe won 106 seats in the 225-member parliament, just seven seats short of a majority.

However, members from the opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena are expected to pledge their support to the UNF this week, which will give Wickremesinghe’s party a clear majority in parliament.

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