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The United National Front (UNF) (Sinhala: එක්සත් ජාතික පෙරමුණ) later the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) (Sinhala: එක්සත් යහපාලන ජාතික පෙරමුණ Eksath Yahapalana Jathika Peramuna; Tamil: நல்லாட்சிக்கான ஐக்கிய தேசிய முன்னணி) is a political alliance in Sri Lanka formed by the United National Party, the alliance currently represents 7 parties including the largest Muslim party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Sinhala Nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya. The UNF is current governing party in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. A new UNP led alliance, the National Democratic Front (NDF) is in the process of being formed for future elections.[1][2][3][4]

United National Front for Good Governance

එක්සත් යහපාලන ජාතික පෙරමුණ
நல்லாட்சிக்கான ஐக்கிய தேசிய முன்னணி
AbbreviationUNFGG
LeaderRanil Wickremesinghe
Secretary GeneralChampika Ranawaka
FoundedOctober 2001 as the United National Front
5 July 2015 (2015-07-05)
Preceded byUnited National Front
Headquarters120A, Stafford Road, Colombo 06, Colombo, Sri Lanka
IdeologyConservatism
Economic liberalism
Political positionCentre-right
Parliament of Sri Lanka
106 / 225
Election symbol
Elephant

HistoryEdit

United National Front (2001–2015)Edit

The UNF was formed as an alliance in 2001 to battle president Kumaratunga's SLFP led People's Alliance in 2001 parliamentary election. Initial members were the United National Party, the Ceylon Workers' Congress, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Western People's Front. The alliance won the election by securing 109 seats in the parliament, which was 4 seats short of a majority. UNF government had been in limbo since October 2003, when President Kumaratunga declared a state of emergency and took three key cabinet portfolios for her party. During the campaign, she argued that prime minister Wickremasinghe had been too soft on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and promised to take a harder line. The UNF, for its part, stressed the economic gains that had been made with the ceasefire and the need to find a negotiated solution to the civil war. Eventually, President Kumaratunga dissolved the parliament and called an election in 2004, which UNF lost to newly formed United People's Freedom Alliance. In 2006, CWC left the alliance to join UPFA.

UNP and SLMC once again contested 2010 parliamentary election from UNF and only secured 29.34% of the popular vote and 60 out of 225 seats. After the election the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress left the UNF and joined President Rajapaksa's UPFA government.[5]

United National Front for Good Governance (2015–present)Edit

The UNP had contested past parliamentary elections in alliance with smaller parties representing ethnic minorities but many of these had defected to the UPFA after the election.[6][7] The United National Front was once again re-activated by United National Party to form as common front against the re-emergence of Rajapaksa who was defeated on 8 January 2015 Presidential Election, with the support of many parties such as the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Tamil National Alliance etc. as a major coalition to support the progress of the Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Prior to this election being called the UNP had claimed it would contest the election on its own.[8][9][10] However, after the election had been called it started forming alliances with minority parties including the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA).[11][12][13][14] Democratic Party led by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka signed an MOU with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to join the front on 3 February, 2016.[15] On 12 July 2015 the UNP, SLMC and TPA signed agreements with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and anti-Rajapaksa members of the SLFP to form the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) to contest the election.[16][17][18] The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) also contested with the UNFGG.[19][20] The UNFGG is believed to have had the tacit support of President Sirisena but officially he has pledged to be neutral.[21][22][23]

The UNFGG had originally been established by the renaming of the JHU after it left the UPFA.[24][25][26] It was registered as a political party with the diamond symbol.[27][28] Despite this the UNFGG contested the election under the name and elephant symbol of the UNP.[29][30] UNFGG general-secretary Champika Ranawaka has stated that the JHU name and its conch symbol will be revived after the election.[31]

The UNFGG became the largest group in Parliament after securing 45.66% of votes and 106 seats whilst the UPFA won 42.38% of votes and 95 seats.[32][33] Rajapaksa quickly conceded defeat in his attempt to become Prime Minister.[34][35] Later, 42 members of the opposition joined the government, giving them a 2/3 majority. The result left the UNFGG seven seats short of a majority in Parliament.[36][37] However, on 20 August 2015 the central committee of the SLFP agreed to form a national government with the UNP for two years.[38][39] Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Prime Minister on 21 August 2015.[40][41] Immediately afterwards a memorandum of understanding to work together in Parliament was signed by acting SLFP general secretary Duminda Dissanayake and UNP general secretary Kabir Hashim.[42][43]

MembersEdit

Electoral historyEdit

Sri Lanka Parliamentary Elections
Election year Votes Vote % Seats won +/– Result for the party
2001 4,086,026 45.62%
109 / 225
  0 Government
2004 3,504,200 37.83%
82 / 225
  27 Opposition
2010 2,357,057 29.34%
60 / 225
  22 Opposition
2015 5,098,916 45.66%
106 / 225
  49 Government [a]

LeadershipEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Led a National Unity government from 2015-18

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ranil to lead 'National Democratic Front'". Colombo Gazette. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe to form a new democratic front". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  3. ^ "PM to form a new party named "National Democratic Front" - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst | Breaking News and Latest News provider | Political | Sports | International | Business. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  4. ^ "PM to register a new Alliance". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  5. ^ http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/16903
  6. ^ Chandraprema, C. A. (29 December 2006). "The UNP's Electoral Prospects". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  7. ^ "Defections, alliances to boost UPFA numbers". Tamil Guardian. 7 March 2006.
  8. ^ Ramakrishnan, T. "UNP to go it alone in parliamentary polls". The Hindu.
  9. ^ Bandara, Kelum (19 June 2015). "UNP to go it alone at general election". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
  10. ^ "UNP to go it alone at general election". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 20 June 2015.
  11. ^ Gooneratne, Lankesh (11 July 2015). "SLMC to go with UNP". Ceylon Today.
  12. ^ Nafeel, Nushka (11 July 2015). "SLMC to contest polls with UNP". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
  13. ^ Balachandran, P. K. (10 July 2015). "Tamil Progressive Alliance Ties Up With UNP in Lankan Polls". The New Indian Express.
  14. ^ "Tamil Progressive Alliance jumps on UNP bandwagon". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 11 July 2015.
  15. ^ http://www.dailymirror.lk/104939/SF-joins-UNF-
  16. ^ Perera, Yohan (13 July 2015). "Good Governance MoU signed". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
  17. ^ "Disillusioned supporters of Sri Lanka President form a new front with UNP to contest parliamentary elections". Colombo Page. 11 July 2015.
  18. ^ Rajasingham, K. T. (12 July 2015). "A Broad Holy Alliance for Good Governance – Minus Maithripala Srisena". Asian Tribune.
  19. ^ Bastians, Dharisha (13 July 2015). "Rainbow reunites against Rajapaksa". Daily FT.
  20. ^ "Key issues for the people at August 17 poll". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 14 July 2015.
  21. ^ Balachandran, P. K. (12 July 2015). "Sirisena's Blessings for Anti-Rajapaksa Front". The New Indian Express.
  22. ^ "Will remain neutral, won't back MR: Maithri". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 14 July 2015.
  23. ^ Balachandran, P. K. (13 July 2015). "Lankan Bigwigs To Fight It Out In Colombo District". The New Indian Express.
  24. ^ "Maithri-Mahinda re-marriage irks 'best men'". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 11 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Rauff wants Ranil as Premier of a stable govt". The Island (Sri Lanka). 13 July 2015.
  26. ^ "JHU to contest under a new front". adaderana.lk. 5 July 2015.
  27. ^ Ratnasekera, Sirimantha (10 July 2015). "Somawansa gets on JHU bandwagon for the poll". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  28. ^ Kuruppu, Chamitha (10 July 2015). "We don't have a Mahinda Rajapaksa phobia". Daily FT.
  29. ^ Somarathna, Rasika (13 July 2015). "MOU for broad alliance". Daily News (Sri Lanka).
  30. ^ Imtiaz, Zahrah (14 July 2015). "No divisions in the SLFP – Priyankara Jayaratne". Ceylon Today.
  31. ^ Fernando, Manjula (12 July 2015). "Our alliance represents the true masses – Champika Ranawaka". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka).
  32. ^ "Rajapakse concedes election defeat as UNP secures 106 seats". Gulf Times. Agence France-Presse. 18 August 2015.
  33. ^ "UNF Wins Sri Lanka Battle, Rajapaksa Concedes Defeat". The New Indian Express. Indo-Asian News Service. 18 August 2015.
  34. ^ "Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa concedes defeat in bid to become PM". ABC News (Australia). 18 August 2015.
  35. ^ "MR concedes defeat". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 19 August 2015. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015.
  36. ^ "Sri Lanka's prime minister defeats former president Rajapaksa in elections". The Guardian. Reuters. 18 August 2015.
  37. ^ "Sri Lanka's PM defeats ex-president in elections". Al Jazeera. 19 August 2015.
  38. ^ Edirisinghe, Dasun (21 August 2015). "SLFP CC for joining national government". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  39. ^ Bandara, Kelum (20 August 2015). "SLFP agrees to join National Govt". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
  40. ^ Liyanawatte, Dinuka (21 August 2015). "Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lankan prime minister". Reuters.
  41. ^ Ramakrishnan, T. (21 August 2015). "Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lankan Prime Minister". The Hindu.
  42. ^ "UNP and SLFP sign MoU". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 21 August 2015.
  43. ^ "SLFP & UNP sign MoU to form National Govt". Sri Lanka Guardian. 21 August 2015.
  44. ^ Edirisinghe, Dasun (21 January 2016), "DNM demands vacant UNP seat", The Island (Sri Lanka), retrieved 16 March 2016
  45. ^ Gooneratne, Lankesh (2 February 2016), "Ekanayake scotches rumours", Ceylon Today, retrieved 16 March 2016[permanent dead link]