On Friday, August 7, Sri Lanka's Election Commission declared that the country's ruling party, the Sri Lanka People's Front, had won a landslide victory in the parliamentary elections held on Wednesday, August 5. The party led by caretaker Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa won 145 out of 225 seats, and with five more seats won by allied parties, they have secured the two-thirds "super-majority" necessary to make constitutional changes. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to permanently install his brother as prime minister and the possibility of constitutional amendments is likely to see the brothers further consolidate their grip on power in Sri Lanka. The election was held despite the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that has seen 2839 confirmed cases and 11 associated deaths across Sri Lanka.
Despite the landslide victory, the Rajapaksa brothers remain unpopular in some quarters, partly because of their role in crushing Tamil separatist rebels in the Civil War, which ended in 2009. As such, opposition demonstrations are possible in the coming days following the election results.
Individuals in Sri Lanka are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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