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UPFA appoints 7 defeated candidates on National List

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In a move that has caused public outrage, the UPFA has included seven defeated candidates from the party as National List nominees in the list submitted to the Elections Commissioner yesterday.

Defeated UPFA candidates Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane (Matara), S.B. Dissanayake (Nuwara Eliya), Mahinda Samarasinghe (Kalutara), Vijith Wijayamuni Soyza (Moneragala), Thilanga Sumathipala (Colombo), Angajan Ramanadan (Jaffna) and M.L.A. M. Hizbullah (Batticaloa), all of whom failed to secure a seat in Monday’s poll, will enter Parliament through the National List.

At least five candidates are seen as Sirisena loyalists against whom the Rajapaksa faction contesting the Parliamentary election carried out systematic smear campaigns, urging people to refrain from voting for them.

These candidates are widely expected to assist both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to build the numbers necessary to secure 113 seats or a majority in Parliament. The UNP fell seven seats short of that magic number when it won 106 seats in this week’s poll.

Other nominees on the UPFA list include former MPs Dilan Perera, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, A.H.M. Fowzie, Faiszer Mustapha and Malith Jayasekera.

The announcement of the UPFA National List came even as UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim hailed his party’s decision not to grant defeated candidates places on the National List, in accordance with the policies of good governance.

However analysts said the President was being hailed for his decision to accommodate Ramanadan, the UPFA Jaffna District candidate in the National List, after the UNP failed to include any nominees from Mano Ganesan’s Tamil Progressive Alliance or Upcountry strongman P. Digambaran’s faction.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Kattankudy last night between supporters and political opponents of M.H.M. Hisbullah, injuring four persons. The clashes erupted after Hisbullah’s supporters celebrated his appointment on the UPFA National List with firecrackers.

A social media campaign has also commenced calling on people to join a protest at Independence Square at 2 p.m. today against the appointment of defeated candidates on party National Lists.

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