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Party backed by Sri Lanka's ex-president eyes big victory in local polls

The unexpectedly strong showing could lead to defections away from the centre-left party led by President Maithripala Sirisena, a partner in the country's coalition government, analysts said, creating instability in the legislature. The local polls were the first elections since the unity government of Sirisena's centre-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's centre-right United National Party (UNP) took office in August 2015.
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