ELECTIONS ON JUNE 10 (99 May 05)

The Commissioner of elections has announced that the the elections to the Southern provincial council will be held on the 10th of June. Ten political parties and a number of independent groups have given nominations and entered the fray. Unlike in the case of the last provincial elections no organisation or political party has sent petitions to the commissioner of elections requesting him to change the date of the elections.

Some people expect violence as the elections are held only in one district. When elections are confined to one district most of the political parties tend to bring their supporters into the relevant district and invariably the number of clashes is bound to go up.

It was in the South that Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga's PA captured power from the UNP in 1993. However, it is unlikely that the voters in the South will give her and the PA a comfortable majority this time to come to power. Neither the UNP would gain a sufficient number of seats leaving the smaller parties to play a big role in the new provincial council.