The changing face of Electoral Politics in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka has been through turbulent times, overcome by a devastating civil war, yet able to sustain a system of parliamentary government. According to Dr.James Jupp of the Australian National University in Canberra, a leading analyst of Sri Lankan politics, “this is a rare feat in the modern world and unique for a relatively low income society”. This study recounts a critical decade of electoral politics in Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2004 that includes four General Elections and a Presidential Election. The new politics in Sri Lanka, evident in this decade is marked by a party system that is increasingly fractured, a politics increasingly divided over symbolic cultural issues and the tension inherent in a mixed executive system. Jayasuriya argues that the coalitional dynamics of this new politics represent a decisive break with the welfarist politics of the post-independence period. This volume will be essential to anyone interested in Sri Lanka’s unique experience as a third-world country with democratic political processes and instruments for over five decades.