10 Apr 2010

Sri Lankan govt comfortably re-elected

10:01 pm on 10 April 2010

The Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has hailed his party's comfortable victory in Thursday's parliamentary elections as an endorsement of his economic policies and the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

With 45 seats still undeclared by Saturday night NZ time, the governing coalition had won 117 seats - enough to form a government.

But it was still not clear whether the United People's Freedom Alliance would secure enough seats to win the two-thirds majority in parliament required to amend Sri Lanka's constitution.

Poll monitors say turnout was low and that many war-displaced Tamils in the north were denied voting rights.

The president's main rival, General Sarath Fonseka, stood despite being in jail.

This was the first general election since the end of the 26-year civil war against the Tamil Tigers.