Sri Lanka set for first post-LTTE prez polls
Sri Lanka is all set for a Presidential election in January next year. While President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a proclamation about the polls on Monday afternoon, the date of the election – most likely January 23 – is yet to be formally announced, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.world Updated: Nov 24, 2009 01:03 IST
Sri Lanka is all set for a Presidential election in January next year. While President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a proclamation about the polls on Monday afternoon, the date of the election — most likely January 23 — is yet to be formally announced.
“President Mahinda Rajapaksa today decided to hold the next Presidential Election and issued instructions to his Secretary, Lalith Weerathunga with regard to gazetting the Presidential proclamation to enable the Commissioner of Elections to conduct the poll”, a report on a government website said.
Under the Lankan constitution, the President has the power to call a presidential poll after completing four years of the six-year-term in office; Rajapaksa completed four years on November 19.
The announcement was greeted by a statement from the principal opposition party, the United National Party (UNP).
“With a presidential poll in the air, we have already witnessed the hasty transfers of several high ranking policemen which can only be a harbinger to the violence and abuse of state property that is to surely follow once the polls are announced,’’ the statement said.
Former prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe the UNP chief is also the leader of the opposition coalition, the 18-party United National Front.
He has said that UNF could consider nominating the just-retired General Sarath Fonseka as the consensus Presidential candidate to take on Rajapaksa.
But the nomination is subject to Fonseka endorsing a 10-point common minimum programme including the the abolition or substantial dilution of powers of the Executive Presidency as a key component.