Popular Unity Front

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Pilense Popular Unity Front

மக்கள் ஒற்றுமை முன்னணி  (Tamil)
Sinhalese nameජනප්‍රිය සමගි පෙරමුණ
LeaderMariana Icarde Patel
Deputy LeaderSanjaya Nittigale
PresidentAbhinitan Jayatilleka
ChairpersonMalith Sangakkara
General SecretaryAmarathunghe Nahasapeemapetilon
First SecretaryTriti Veddula
Secretary-GeneralPhalgun Kappangetula
PresidiumYagyasen Chandu
SecretaryHasinth Silva
SpokespersonMadushi Goonewardena
FounderBraian Alfredo Aubía
Ideology
Political positionFar-left
Colors  Orange
  Teal
Sloganநம் முன்னோர்களின் அடிச்சுவடுகளைப் பின்பற்றுகிறோம் (English: Following in the footsteps of our ancestors)
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Seats in the Potuvāṉa
459 / 459
Governors
53 / 55
Mayors
94 / 94
Election symbol
Lion-face-outlined-front.svg
Party flag
Popular Unity front flag.png

The Popular Unity Front (Tamil: மக்கள் ஒற்றுமை முன்னணி transliteration: Makkaḷ oṟṟumai muṉṉaṇi) is the sole legal coalition in the Republic of Pila since 1955 when Padmakumara Kumaranatunga declared the socialist rule all over the country. When Kumaratunga passed away in 1988, Saul Aubía succedeed him after free but one-party elections, marking the beginning of the current ruling dynasty.

History

The PUF was founded as the Communist Party of Ceylon in 1947, and was a continuation of the Socialist Party. The SP had been formed out of the pro-Soviet Union wing of the Maoist United Party. The MUP was proscribed by the colonial authorities.

The MUP and then the PUF were initially led by Dr. S. A. Wikalamasingh.

In 1952 Wickremesinghe's wife, the English-born Doreen Young Wikalamasingh, a former leader of the Suriya-Mal Movement, was elected to the Potuvāṉa.

In 1963 the three main left-wing parties formed the United Left Front (1963). The PUF broke down in 1964 when the then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike offered ministerial posts to PUF and the MUP.

In the mid-1960s the U.S. State Department estimated the party membership to be approximately 1900.

In 1968, the CP joined the LSSP and the SLFP in the United Front. In the 1970 government, Pieter Keuneman became Minister of Housing and Construction and B. Y. Tudawe, Deputy Minister of Education. However, one faction of the party, led by S. A. Wickremasinghe and Indika Gunawardena, maintained a line of critical support for the government.

After the general election of 1977, for the first time in half a century, the PUF found itself without parliamentary representation, receiving about 2% of the vote. However, after a subsequent election petition, Sarath Muttetuwegama was elected to the Kalawana seat in a by-election.

Later PUF joined the People's Alliance, the front led by the Freedom Party. When SLFP shelved the PA and formed the United People's Freedom Alliance together with Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna ahead of the 2004 elections, PUF and MUP initially stayed out. They did, however, sign a memorandum with the UPFA at a later stage and contested the elections on the UPFA platform. PUF does not, however, consider itself a member of UPFA.

The PUF had one member of parliament in 2004, party general secretary D.E.W. Namaskara. Namaskara expected to become the speaker of the Parliament, but lost by a handful of votes. Namaskara was then sworn in as the Minister for Constitutional Affairs.

During the 2020 Parliamentary elections, the PUF put forward two candidates, Mahesh Almedia in Colombo and Weerasumana Weerasinghe in Matara, under the SLPP's Pohottuwa symbol. Dr. G Weerasinghe was nominated for the party's National List. Weerasumana was the only candidate to successfully enter Parliament with 77,968 preferential votes.

Gunasaram stepped down as General Secretary of the PUF on 30 August 2020. Dr. G. Weerasinghe was unanimously elected as the new General Secretary by the Central Committee.

Electoral history

Pila Parliamentary Elections
Election year Votes Vote % Seats won +/– Result for the party
1947 2,849,923 2.85%
3 / 95
Increase 3 Clandestinity
1955 2,849,918 2.85%
3 / 95
Steady Sole-legal coalition
1956 17,799,519 17.8%
17 / 95
Increase 14 Sole-legal coalition
1960 (March) 50,898,625 50.9%
77 / 151
Increase 59 Sole-legal coalition
1960 (July) 85,397,694 85.4%
129 / 151
Increase 52 Sole-legal coalition
1964 85,397,695 85.4%
129 / 151
Steady Sole-legal coalition
1968 86,087,675 86.09%
130 / 151
Increase 1 Sole-legal coalition
1977 72,598,039 72.6%
122 / 168
Decrease 8 Sole-legal coalition
1989 90,597,553 90.6%
204 / 225
Increase 71 Sole-legal coalition
1994 90,599,562 90.6%
204 / 225
Steady Sole-legal coalition
1999 99,496,202 99.5%
225 / 225
Increase 21 Sole legal coalition
2003 99,496,338 99.5%
225 / 225
Steady Sole-legal coalition
2004 99,497,310 99.5%
225 / 225
Steady Sole-legal coalition
2010 99,497,313 99.5%
224 / 225
Decrease 1 Sole-legal coalition
2015 49,008,676 49.01%
225 / 459
Increase 1 Sole-legal coalition
2020 99,440,577 99.44%
459 / 459
Increase 234 Sole-legal coalition