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‘Stop-Genocide’ candidate secures record result, but misses London seat

June 9, 2009

Tamilnet – ‘Stop-Genocide’ candidate secures record result, but misses London seat

Ms. Jan Jananayagam, an independent candidate contesting the European Parliament elections in London, secured over 50,000 votes, an unprecedented result, and a record for an independent candidate in an EU election. Though Ms Jananayagam failed to secure a seat, her campaign team said they were delighted with the results. Despite having decided to contest only days before voter registration closed and four weeks before the polls, the Tamil candidate had amassed more votes than some well-established small parties in Britain, and more than twice all other independent candidates combined, they said. Apart from Tamil expatriates, her campaign, conducted by students and volunteers, had drawn support and donations from British voters and other minority communities.

Out of the eight London seats, the main opposition Conservative Party took three (and almost 480,000 votes) and the ruling Labour Party two (with almost 373,000 votes). One seat each went to the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and the UK Independent Party.

The proportional representation system used to allocate MEP (Member of European Parliament) seats meant that in this election Ms. Jananayagam could have secured one with 100,000 votes, analysts felt.

Ms. Jananayagam, a Jaffna-born British citizen, had agreed to contest a few days before voter registration closed on May 19th. The UK polls were held on June 4.

“Unfortunately we were unable to get many Tamil voters registered in time. However, for four weeks of campaigning this is a great result,” a campaign leader told TamilNet Sunday.

“Also, we faced challenges in our door-to-door voter campaign as the attention of the Tamil community in London drawn to protests and to Colombo’s slaughter of Tamils in Mullaiththeevu,” he added.

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