Mahinda Rajapaksa says election will be held before December

Former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has hinted that an election will be held prior to the month of December this year. Rajapaksa during a visit to the Abhayarama Temple yesterday said he believes an election will be held by December when he was asked about the continued postponements of elections by media personnel at the event. Responding to a journalist on the need for an election at this juncture Rajapaksa said politicians are always favourable to elections. “Which politician will ever say no to a poll?” he retorted. He also said the SLPP continues to engage in its political activities quite successfully.

However, the former premier, now a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP for the Kurunegala district stopped short of mentioning the type of election to be held. Refusing to answer if it would be either a parliamentary or presidential election when asked, Rajapaksa said the SLPP is prepared to face any election going forward. Though there have been rumours of a split within the SLPP in recent times, Rajapaksa said everyone will come together as usual to face any election.

Meanwhile, the possibility of holding Local Government elections on 25 April continues to be in limbo. The Election Commission of Sri Lanka (ECSL) has requested a special discussion with the subject minister Premier Dinesh Guanwardena to discuss matters pertaining to the preparations for the polls. According to ECSL Chief Nimal Punchihewa, the delay in releasing funds would lead to yet another postponement of the election. A paper was presented to the cabinet yesterday for the payment of salaries to Government sector workers who had submitted nominations to contest in the Local Government election.