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Sri Lanka rules out snap presidential polls

Sri Lanka ruled out holding snap presidential elections this year amid reports that the government may want to cash in on the military triumph against Tamil rebels.

world Updated: Jul 08, 2009 15:50 IST

Sri Lanka on Wednesday ruled out holding snap presidential elections this year amid reports that the government may want to cash in on the military triumph against Tamil rebels.

Agricultural minister Maithripala Sirisena denied that President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party had taken any decision to go for an early election.

The constitution allows a snap presidential poll after the incumbent completes four years out of his six-year term. The earliest the government can hold a presidential election is after November this year.

“The SLFP or coalition partners have not taken such a decision with regard to the Presidential election or Parliamentary elections,” Sirisena said.

However, he said the government will hold elections to the southern provincial council, the highest level local government body later this year.

President Rajapakse is riding the crest of a huge popularity vote after security forces declared wiping out the entire leadership of the Tamil Tigers in mid May.